April 24, 2020
Boulder County Extends Stay-At-Home Order Through May 8
Increasing numbers of residents with COVID-19 illness will delay moving to next phase
Boulder County, CO — The statewide Stay-at-Home Order is set to expire on Sunday, April 26, and Governor Polis has directed local public health officials to implement data-informed strategies at the local level that best meets the needs of local communities. Along with other local public health agencies in the region, Boulder County Public Health will extend the current Colorado Stay-At-Home order through May 8 in order to develop clear strategies and guidelines for preventing a surge of COVID-19 cases when our community moves to the “safer-at-home” phase.
“As public health stewards, it is our responsibility to protect the health of all Boulder County residents by investigating and controlling the spread of communicable disease,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health executive director. “We have increasing cases of COVID-19, insufficient access to testing, and too few case investigators to consider anything else than extending the current Stay-At-Home Order. We want to avoid relaxing restrictions only to have to reimpose them if there’s a new surge in cases.”
There is one difference between the statewide Stay-at-Home Order and the Boulder County extension. Beginning on April 27, non-critical businesses may also start offering curbside delivery of products, and travel to pick up those goods will be considered necessary travel.
“We’re in a no-win situation,” said Zayach. “I know the livelihoods of many people have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. We hope that including the option for curbside delivery for non-critical businesses will help our communities start getting back on their feet.”
Boulder County has not met the conditions that need to be in place to make sure the spread of COVID-19 doesn’t resurge after stay-at-home restrictions are eased. These necessary conditions include:
- Transmission of the virus is controlled.
- Local hospitals are able to treat all patients needing hospitalization.
- Testing is available, and there is capacity to monitor those who have tested positive, as well as their close contacts.
- Outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes.
- Adequate preventive measures are in place in workplaces, businesses, and other essential places.
- Individuals and businesses have the information and guidance needed to adhere to requirements.
“This extra time will allow us to ramp up our epidemiology team to continue to conduct contact tracing, focus outreach and care on disproportionately impacted communities, receive additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for our health care providers, and continue our progress on accessing testing,” said Zayach. “Without these elements in place, moving to the governor’s Safer-at-Home phase in Boulder County would be extremely dangerous.”
The additional two weeks of staying at home will allow time to:
- Complete renovation of the St. Anthony’s North facility to serve as a location for step-down care when COVID-19 patients who require continued acute care are discharged from the hospital.
- Prepare clear guidance for and with the business community to increase compliance and minimize confusion.
- Create clear guidance for residents to minimize confusion and increase compliance.
- Establish a compliance system for businesses to demonstrate their compliance with COVID-19 regulations.
- Ramp up outreach and guidance to disparately affected communities, including Hispanic/Latinx and older populations.
- Increase staffing for surveillance and monitoring of active cases of COVID-19.
- Receive additional testing supplies for Boulder County residents.
- Receive additional personal protective equipment (PPE), including surgical and N95 masks, for essential staff like health care workers and first responders.
The Boulder County Public Health Order will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. on April 27, 2020, until midnight on May 8, 2020, unless earlier amended, extended, or rescinded by Boulder County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Zayach.
Until May 9, all residents of and visitors to Boulder County must continue to follow the guidance outlined in the Colorado Stay-At-Home Order enacted on March 16, except for the addition of curbside pickup by non-essential businesses. All Boulder County residents and visitors must continue to follow social distancing guidelines, stay at home as much as possible, wear face coverings whenever out in public, and practice abundant personal hygiene and cleanliness to keep our communities healthy and economically viable.