Stay-at-Home Order







While Colorado is now under Safer-at-Home, some counties & cities are still under a local Stay-at-Home Order  

    Stay home as much as possible

All people in Colorado must follow the letter and the spirit of these orders. Do not try to bend the rules or find loopholes. It’s up to us all to keep people safe and build up our health care system so we can treat people who are sick and save lives.

Both orders aim to limit the spread of COVID-19 by minimizing contact between people. Closing Certain Businesses (20-22) closed bars, restaurants, gyms and similar facilities so large groups of people do not gather. Stay-at-Home (20-24) further limits contact by ordering all Coloradans to stay at home unless they are engaged in certain necessary activities. Please refer to the public health orders themselves for a detailed list of what is allowed and disallowed. Businesses that have questions should read the orders carefully and consult an attorney if unable to determine how their business fits in.


Questions and Answers

What does this mean for the average person in Colorado?

  • You must stay home as much as possible. You can leave your home to do a limited number of specific things.
  • When you go out, you must follow Social Distancing Requirements, which are below in a separate question.
  • People at high-risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to stay in their residence at all times, except when they need to get necessary medical care. Necessary medical care does not include most “elective,” procedures, which currently are prohibited.
  • People who have COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate or have a negative test result. Testing is still limited at this time, so self-isolating when you are ill is the best course of action. Please read how to isolate, which includes symptoms.
  • Only essential travel is allowed.
  • Sick people must not go to work.

How long does it last ?

Stay-at-Home (20-24) started March 26, 2020 and lasts through April 26, 2020. Closing Certain Businesses (20-22) went into effect March 16, 2020 and ends April 30, 2020.  These orders may be extended, changed, ended or replaced, so it is important to follow local sources of good information, like the website

What are necessary activities?

Activities, tasks and errands you must do to keep yourself, your family, and your household members safe and healthy. Necessary activities include:

  • Getting essential medical care, medical supplies and equipment, and medicine.
  • Getting food and supplies for yourself, your animals, your family, and your household members. That means the supplies you need to live a healthy life, keep a safe and healthy home, and get supplies you need to work or learn at home.
  • Caring for a family member, vulnerable person, or animals that are in a different location than your home.
  • Walking your dog or feeding animals.
  • Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, running, etc. Group sports or activities that would break Social Distancing Requirements are prohibited. 
  • Going to work or providing essential products and services for a critical business or critical government function. It can be hard to figure out what is considered essential or critical. We encourage people to understand what’s in the order and follow it closely.

What are Social Distancing Requirements?

  • Keeping 6 feet of physical distance between all people at all times. The 6-foot rule does not apply to people who live in the same house as you -- in other words,  your roommates and family. But if you, your family, or your roomates get sick, you or they must self-isolate.
  • Washing hands as often as you can. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue away. Use your sleeve or inner elbow if a tissue is not available.

Can I have my home and lawn taken care of?

Yes, people can maintain their home to retain its value. That means you can take care of minimum basic things like sewage sanitation, landscaping, and maintenance and repair services.

Can I go to a real estate open house or walk-through? Can I close on a newly bought or sold home?

  • Real estate marketing services such as in-person showings and open houses are prohibited
  • Real estate appraisals and closings are considered critical services and are allowed.
  • Home inspections and final walkthroughs after a buyer has signed a purchase contract are considered essential services and are allowed.
  • Read more from the Department of Regulatory Agencies. 

Should I wear a mask?

Colorado is asking everyone to wear a non-medical cloth face covering while out in public for necessary activities like grocery shopping. Please make or buy a cloth covering that will cover your mouth and nose and use it whenever you are outside your own house or yard. Scarves and bandanas will work as coverings. Wash your face covering frequently.

Executive Order D 2020 039 orders workers at critical businesses to wear medical or non-medical face coverings that will cover your mouth and nose while at work, except where doing so would inhibit your health, and wear gloves (if gloves are provided by an employer) when in contact with customers or goods. 

What does “home” mean?

It means the place where you live, whether that is a house, apartment, hotel, motel, or other place that you rent. 

What if my home is not a safe environment? 

If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and urged to find another safe place to stay during this order.  Call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or contact your local law enforcement agency. 

What about people who are experiencing homelessness?

We encourage people experiencing homelessness to obtain shelter, and we urge government and other entities to make as much shelter as they can available as soon as possible. People experiencing homelessness must also follow Social Distancing Requirements.

What does this mean for businesses?

  • Critical businesses, listed in the public health order, can continue to operate.
  • Critical businesses must take all steps possible to comply with the Social Distancing Requirements. 
  • Other businesses are closed to in-person work. Employers are encouraged to keep as many people working remotely as possible.  
  • To be designated as a critical business, the work of a business must be primarily critical work as defined in the order. In other words, a store that doesn’t normally sell food, cannot start selling food and say they are a grocery or food retailer in order to stay open.

Where can I find out more?

Consult the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) Guidance on Critical vs. Non-Critical Business Professions

Is my business a critical business?

Read the lists in the relevant executive order and public health order to determine if your business is critical. If you are unsure, err on the side of protecting public health. If you still cannot decide, you may want to consult a lawyer.

I have a critical business. What do I need to do?

Implement and practice the Social Distancing Requirements to keep your employees and customers healthy. This means keeping people 6 feet apart from each other, practicing frequent and correct handwashing, cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently, and remembering not to shake hands. Take some time to understand what this means. There are many resources on this website, in particular, on this page.

Do I need to certify that I am a critical business?

No, but there is a voluntary self-certification document created to help critical businesses and law enforcement to comply with public health orders.

Instructions for critical business self-certification  

Instrucciones para la autocertificación de negocios esenciales


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Tilmaamaha Ku aadan Sharciyaynta Shaqsiga ah ee Ganacsiga Muhiimka ah

What does “minimum basic operations” mean?

This term refers to operations that help maintain the value of a residence or business, such as sanitation, landscaping, maintenance and repair services.  For businesses, this also includes filling online orders to maintain the work and value of the business. All of these activities must be done while adhering to the Social Distancing Requirements.  People who run critical businesses should read the public health order to find out what that means.  

What can real estate brokers do?

  • Real estate marketing services such as in-person showings and open houses are prohibited
  • Real estate appraisals and closings are considered critical services and are allowed.
  • Home inspections and final walkthroughs after a buyer has signed a purchase contract are considered essential services and are allowed.
  • Read more from the Department of Regulatory Agencies. 

Can I serve drinks at my restaurant or bar to people who are picking up their to-go orders?

No, food or drinks may not be consumed on the premises of restaurants or bars.

Can I offer curbside service for my non-critical store or business?

No, non-critical businesses cannot have employees working to provide in-person services for curbside pickup. This is different from businesses that offer online ordering and home delivery, which is allowed.

What kind of construction is allowed?

Guidance on what construction activities are allowed

Can child care services remain open under this order?

Yes.  Child care services are included as a critical service in the order, and they are encouraged to remain open to provide services for whomever might need them.  Any questions concerning licensed child care services should be sent to the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood, Childcare Licensing and Administration at or 1-800-799-5876 or 303-866-5948. 

Will I be fined or jailed if I don’t follow the stay-at-home order?

This Executive Order Ordering Coloradans to Stay at Home makes this the law, therefore breaking the order is breaking the law. Success depends on all of us doing our part to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately, save lives. We are calling for voluntary compliance by all affected; however, local law enforcement agencies have the authority to enforce this law. Local law enforcement enforces public health orders. State law enforcement will assist and support in any way requested, but our hope is that involvement by law enforcement is reserved only for the most aggravated circumstances.  We are calling on people to individually do their part. Your employer may be fined if they are not following the rules outlined in this order.

My employer says I have to come to work anyway. What should I do?

Businesses that are not critical are no longer authorized to bring employees into the workplace. This is the law in Colorado through April 26, 2020, due to the governor’s order.  If your employer does not operate a critical business, local officials can enforce closing down the business to in-person work, and if the employer fails to do so, court action may be filed. Contact local law enforcement or your local public health agency if you believe your employer is violating the order by staying open and requiring employees to come to work.

My city or county also has a stay-at-home order. Which one should I follow?

The most restrictive terms of the orders apply. So if the city or county’s order is more restrictive than the state order, follow the city or county order.

I want to know more about enforcement of these orders.
Residents who suspect that someone is violating the order should first contact their local public health agency to report any concerns. Residents may also file a report with the Attorney General’s Office at if local law enforcement or a local public health agency is unresponsive. Please see the enforcement guidance on the State Attorney General’s website for more information.

How can I get medical care if I need it? 

If you need medical attention, call your doctor, a nurse hotline, any telehealth hotline set up for COVID-19 (check with your insurance company) or an urgent care center. When possible, health care visits should be done remotely. Contact your health care provider to see what telehealth services they provide or take a look at our telehealth and nurslines information page
If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, stay at home and follow the guidelines on how to isolate.
Do not call 911 or go to an emergency room unless you are having a medical emergency.
Non-essential medical care like eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed.

Can I get a prescription filled or take care of other health care needs?

Yes. Pharmacies and other medical services will remain open.  You should request for your prescriptions to be delivered to your home if that is possible.  

Is it OK to go outside and exercise or play?

It is physically and mentally healthy to be outdoors. Stay close to home and choose times and places where you can maintain 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and others.

  • Recreate locally. Keep recreational activities within your own county or within about three miles of it to prevent disease spread. This is important because our smaller communities have fewer resources, geared toward caring for smaller populations. Influxes of non-residents, particularly from large population areas, increase the potential for disease transfer within those local communities and increase the strain on those smaller health care systems
  • If you are in the Denver metro area, don't travel to our mountain communities.
  • Reduce visits to the trails and open spaces in the foothills.
  • Similarly, if you live outside the Denver metro area, avoid traveling to Denver for recreational activities.
  • Wear a mask when participating in outdoor activities.

Is it OK to gather in groups to socialize outside?

  • It is best to socialize only with your household members, but physical activity promotes health and well-being. If you are doing outdoor activities with people outside your household, limit group size and make sure there is at least 6 feet of physical distance between all people at all times.
  • People should not gather in any outdoor space where they cannot maintain 6 feet of physician distance from one another.  That includes pavilions, areas that offer shelter, or other outdoors areas that invite people to congregate and groups and do not allow for 6 feet of physical distance. 

What about parks and playgrounds? Are they open?

  • State parks are open for walking, biking, etc., but all playgrounds, picnic areas, campgrounds, and other areas where groups might gather are closed. Restrooms in state parks are open. Please practice good handwashing and distancing if using state park restrooms.
  • For city and county parks, check with your local government or parks department to find out whether parks are open and whether the park restroom facilities are open.
  • At this time, if a playground is open, we recommend you do not use it.

The order says that all playgrounds, picnic areas, other similar areas conducive to public gathering, and attended areas shall be closed. What are other similar areas?  What are attended areas?

An attended area is an area where people tend to gather, such as playgrounds, picnic areas, areas that have equipment for individuals to use, and areas with shelters to provide shade.  These types of areas are not easily adapted to allow adherence to Social Distancing Requirements, and they further expose individuals to multi-touch surfaces where disease transmission could occur.  Local jurisdictions can determine whether parks within their jurisdiction that are not state parks can remain open. Restrooms that remain open in these areas must be cleaned on a daily basis.

Are golf courses open?

Golf courses can remain open for outdoor activities; however, Social Distancing Requirements must be strictly followed. Clubhouses, restaurants, snack bars and pro shops must not be open and tee times and golf fee transactions made only online. Only household  members may share a golf car or be a caddy for a golfer. Golfers are strongly encouraged to not touch any equipment that is not their own (e.g. tees and flags).

What is necessary travel?

  • Travel from your home to places you need to go to do necessary tasks, errands and activities, get food or necessary equipment and supplies, transport kids for a shared parenting arrangement, or work in a critical business or government function.
  • Traveling for outdoor activities should be close to home.
  • If you aren’t absolutely sure you need or are required by your work with a critical business to do it, you probably don’t need to do it.

Is public transportation and ridesharing available?

Public transportation and ridesharing should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk or drive yourself.  

Will roads be closed?

No, the roads will not be closed. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health or that of your household members, family, or animals. 

Planes and any other form of travel should only be used for essential travel. 

Can I travel to other places in Colorado, like to the mountains or resort areas?

Do not take a “Colorado vacation” or go to your second home. Limit activities to your immediate community. Do not travel to mountain areas or the Western Slope. This is to prevent disease spread.

Can you be pulled over simply for driving?

It's up to the local law enforcement agency 

The list below is not all-inclusive.


  • Airport markets and restaurants
  • Animal shelters, boarding services, rescues
  • Appliance installation*
  • Auto rental, repair and supply shops
  • Bail bond agents
  • Banks, credit institutions, financial services
  • Bike repair shops
  • Cell phone stores
  • Child care
  • Chiropractors, limited circumstances
  • Construction* (see guidance)
  • Election activities
  • Emergency dental procedures
  • Emergency facilities
  • Firearms stores
  • Fitness centers and personal services included in residential facilities, only for guests or residents*
  • Flight schools, only for military purposes and FAA-required pilot proficiency and currency activities.
  • Food banks/pantries
  • Funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries
  • Garbage, recycling, and sanitation services
  • Grocery and meal delivery
  • Grocery stores
  • Hardware farm supply, & building materials stores
  • Higher education dining halls and grab-and-go food services*
  • Homeless shelters
  • Hospitals and health care operations
  • Houses of worship*
  • K-12 public & private schools; essential services
  • Laundromats
  • Lawn care and landscaping* for basic maintenance only
  • Liquor and cannabis stores
  • Moving to another residence, movers*
  • Online auto sales with “no touch” delivery
  • Outdoor fun, with people physically distanced at least 6 feet apart at all times
  • Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end-of-life services
  • Pharmacies and drug stores
  • Police and fire stations
  • Postsecondary institutions to facilitate distance learning and perform essential functions*
  • Public and private airports
  • Public benefits (SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines
  • Recreational vehicle parks, where RVs are being used as permanent residences
  • Residential care facilities
  • Restaurant takeout and delivery.
  • Retail phone stores
  • Room service in hotels
  • Taking kids to a shared parent’s house
  • Thrift stores

*Must follow Social Distancing Requirements



  • Acupuncture
  • Apothecaries (these are not pharmacies)
  • Bars, taverns, brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other public places that serve alcoholic beverages onsite
  • Casinos, horse tracks, and off-track betting facilities
  • Cigar, tobacco, and vape shops, hookah bars
  • Craft stores
  • Dog groomers
  • Fishing tackle retailers
  • Gymnasiums and other places that offer fitness, dance, and group exercise classes.
  • House cleaning**
  • Leisure drives or motorcycle rides
  • Movie and performance theaters, opera houses, concert and music halls
  • Non-essential personal services -- hair salons, barbers, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors
  • Outdoor gatherings, unless people can stay at least 6 feet away from each other at all times
  • Recreation centers, bowling alleys, pools, and other indoor athletic facilities.
  • Routine dental procedures
  • Specialty boutiques
  • Sporting goods stores, retail bike shops
  • In-person school through April 30. Some districts have closed for the remainder of the year. Distance learning is taking place

**People can clean for family members or vulnerable people they are caring for who live in another location

More guidance on critical businesses and services