DENVER (KRDO) -- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has issued a statewide stay-at-home order that will begin at 6 a.m. Thursday and go until April 11.
Polis spoke to the media Wednesday to provide an update and answer questions in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. See what a stay-at-home order means here. Essential personnel will still be able to go to work, and residents will be able to travel to grocery stores.
The presser comes as almost the entirety of the Denver metroplex is under stay-at-home orders to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, there were 1,086 positive cases of COVID-19 with 19 deaths across 36 counties.
Polis said the decision was supported by data the state compiled after an order to shut down dining rooms and bars. He said while it did have a positive effect on improving social distancing, it wasn't sufficient enough.
He added that the next priority is for the state to get the hospital beds and ventilators needed for a projected peak of the coronavirus outbreak. The governor said the Army Corps of Engineers is aiding with securing more hospital bed space.
"If we can ease these restrictions sooner, no one would be happier than me to roll off these restrictions earlier and let people return to earning a living and running their businesses and supporting themselves," Polis said. "It’s also possible that it could take longer, and we will make that call based on the real data that we receive up through that date."
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers had been reluctant to issue a similar order across the city, consenting to support the statewide order only if requested by Polis and state health officials.
"What does a stay-at-home order accomplish above and beyond current orders?" he asked during a media briefing Tuesday. "There are a lot of professions that aren't covered. A businessman told me that under the order, he can't sell a car to a customer but that customer can walk across the street and buy marijuana. So what are we doing here?"
City attorneys are studying the governor's order to learn more specifics, but -- for example -- an early determination is that the order includes playgrounds but excludes parks.
On Wednesday, the city began enforcing social distancing at parks amid concerns that too many people were gathering in groups of 11 or more, which violates Polis' initial order issued earlier this month.
The Governor's Office provided the following list of "critical activities" during which you can leave your house:
- Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
- Seeking medical care
- Caring for dependents or pets
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
- Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open
- Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties