What a ‘shelter in place’ order in Colorado might look like

A volunteer checks his mask at the drive-through coronavirus testing site that opened March 13 by UCHealth at South Parkside Drive and Kidskare Point, one block east of Memorial Park in Colorado Springs. Chancey Bush/The Gazette

Residents of Colorado’s San Miguel county were ordered to “shelter in place” on Thursday, as were all Californians when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay home indefinitely, with few exceptions.

At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock discussed the possibility of such an order, saying he’d rather see one at a regional or state level, but couldn’t rule out putting one in place in the next 48 hours, according to Gazette news partner 9News.

Just what might such an order look like? Here are some answers based on what we know about the orders in San Miguel County, as well as California.

How would it be enforced?

The order in San Miguel County is enforceable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment in county jail for up to 18 months, according to the order.

In California, Newsom said he doesn’t expect police will be needed to enforce his stay-at-home order, saying “social pressure” already has led to social distancing throughout the state.

“I don’t believe the people of California need to be told through law enforcement that it’s appropriate just to home isolate,” he said.

What would stay open?

In San Miguel County, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks, gas station, laundromats/laundry services, and essential state and local government functions including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services will remain open. The same goes for California.

In San Miguel County, cannabis businesses can still operate, but can only accept pick-up orders.

What would close?

In Colorado, restaurants (except for take-out and delivery), theaters, gyms, casinos, hair/nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors were closed this week for 30 days per order of Gov. Jared Polis. Additionally, in-person learning at schools has been suspended through April 17, and public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

In California, the following are closed: bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings, convention centers, and dine-in restaurants.

The Associated Press, The LA Times and 9News contributed to this report.


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