Colorado county ordered to ‘shelter in place’ or face possible fines up to $5,000 and imprisonment

Telluride, Colorado. Photo Credit: miroslav_1 (iStock).

Residents of San Miguel County, home to Telluride, have been ordered to ‘ shelter in place‘ or face fines of up to $5,000 and up to 18 months in jail. The order went into effect on Thursday and was signed by Public Health Director Grace Franklin, though it received little coverage in statewide media.

Residents of the county may leave their residence only to perform what is deemed as an essential activity.

The following are considered “essential activities” in the order and may continue:

To see official language and a more in-depth description, see the full order here.

The order also directed visitors to the county to return home and limited any gathering to fewer than 10.

The goal of the order is to distance people from each other in attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Under the order, grocery stores and other essential services have remained open, including banks, hardware stores, and service providers, such as plumbers and electricians. Cannabis shops can also still operate, though only for pick-up orders. See a full breakdown of what business can remain open here.

Many businesses have already been shut down in the area by state mandate, including, but not limited to, dine-in restaurants and bars, spas, gyms, tattoo parlors, and hair salons. The San Miguel County order closed a number of spots, most notably hotels and other places of short-term stay. The gondola in Telluride also closed.

The order also advised San Miguel County residents to avoid contact with those outside of their immediate family.

The order is in effect through midnight MST on April 3, 2020. Read the full order here.

A Friday press release noted that San Miguel County has officially confirmed its first case of COVID-19. There are currently more than 200 cases of the coronavirus present in Colorado.


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