Gov. Jared Polis speaks on Monday, April 20.
The gradual reopening of Colorado will begin on Monday, April 27.
Gov. Jared Polis said Monday that the state's COVID-19 stay-at-home order will expire on Sunday, April 26 and Colorado will enter the "Safer At Home" phase of incrementally opening the economy and getting back to something resembling normal life.
"The stay-at-home order was successful," the governor said. "It cut social interactions 75 to 80 percent and now we need to go into how we can maintain this in a sustainable way for a while and have that emotional fulfillment, that psychological fulfillment, earn our economic livelihood in way for a period of time, May, it could even well be June, beyond, that we need to live."
"It's a marathon, not a sprint," he noted.
Safer At Home will combine a number of recommendations from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and the CU School of Public Health, which has been working with the state on COVID-19 modeling, that seeks to suppress the spread of COVID-19 at a slow enough rate so the virus does not overwhelm hospitals or the health care system.
"We're going to have to live with coronvirus for a while," Gov. Polis said. "Our job isn't finished, your job isn't finished, not by a long shot. This all hinges on individual choices and individual responsibilities of Coloradans, those choices to do what you need to, setting a pace where you're psychologically fulfilled, emotionally fulfilled and minimizing your other interactions for the next month or beyond."
"Today's data shows that while we can take it down a level because we need to for sustainability - it's not possible to keep up staying-at-home, most people need to earn a livelihood, people need to settle into a more healthy pattern from an emotional and psychological perspective - we want to set the parameters of that pattern and make sure people can be ready for this marathon and complete this marathon."
While the exact guidelines and implementation of them are still being finalized, the governor said things will begin to change after the stay-at-home order ends on April 26.
On April 27:
--The stay-at-home will expire but people are encouraged to stay at home whenever they can.
--Critical/essential retailers will be able to reopen with strict precautions in place such as social distancing, staggered employee shifts, employees wearing masks and the like.
--Any retailer can open with curbside delivery. Those that desire to can open to the public on May 1.
--Personal services such as hair salons, dental appointments and elective surgeries can reopen as long as proper precautions are taken.
--Real estate showing can begin but still no open houses.
--Members of vulnerable population, such as the elderly or pregnant women, should avoid social interactions when they can.
Then on May 4:
--Non-critical businesses (Colorado's commercial capacity) can open at 50% of capacity.
--Large companies are advised to have symptom and temperature checks as people enter.
--Telecommunting should be maximized.
The governor said his goal is begin a phased reopening of bars, restaurants and event venues, with social distancing measures in place, by May 15.
He said he would provide additional guidelines on each step as they get closer.
The governor said based on the modeling data, the goal is to maintain 60-65% social distancing through a combination of measures including reducing social interactions, testing, case identification, isolation/quarantine, contact tracing, wearing masks and the like.
The governor's full remarks are below.
Joining him at the press conference was State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who explained the modeling process and the goals of the various options available to help guide policy decisions.