News & Events

Colorado COVID-19 Response Updates

Pursuant to HJR20-1007, the Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly is Temporarily Adjourned.


July 9, 2020

Gov. Polis signed the Protect Our Neighbors Executive Order which directs CDPHE to create a certification process to allow local communities to move from Safer at Home in the Vast, Great Outdoors to Protect Our Neighbors. CDPHE will also issue a corresponding Public Health Order. To qualify for Protect Our Neighbors, a county or a region must:

  • Certify that they meet qualification metrics established by CDPHE; and
  • Submit a mitigation and containment plan on what the county or region will do if they fall out of compliance with one or more of these metrics, and documentation of support for the plan by local officials, law enforcement, and any others identified by CDPHE.

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 126, extending the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to the presence of COVID-19.


July 7, 2020 

The Governor signed an Executive Order extending the disaster emergency declaration for COVID-19 for an additional 30 days.


June 30, 2020

Governor Jared Polis extended the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors Executive Order, and provided an update on Colorado’s next steps during the COVID-19 pandemic, introducing more details on the Protect Our Neighbors framework.

Governor Polis announced the closure of bars. Bars that have taken steps to open as restaurants may continue to operate in-person service, so long as they have patrons seated with their own party only in set seating, spaced six feet apart, and with no mingling. Bars are permitted to sell alcoholic beverages to-go for takeout or delivery consumption if the alcoholic beverages are sold with food. All of the guidelines previously in place around social distancing still apply. Bars may still operate if open under a county variance pursuant to the terms of that county variance. More information can be found in the Governor’s Executive Order.

The Governor did not announce any additional relaxing of restrictions today, but described the new phase: Protect Our Neighbors that will give local communities more freedom to provide economic opportunity while ensuring that they have the necessary public health capacity. The introduction of the new phase means that different parts of the state could be at different phases of reopening, based on local conditions and capabilities.

Moving forward, communities that can demonstrate strong public health and health care systems, paired with low virus levels, can take on more control over their reopening plans. In order to reopen to this greater extent, communities must have:

  • Low virus prevalence;
  • Health care capacity to handle a surge; and
  • Strong public health capacity to contain outbreaks and surges locally, including the ability to test, track, and trace.

In order to qualify for Protect Our Neighbors, a county (or region) must do two things:

  • Certify qualification according to the scientific metrics; and
  • Submit a mitigation and containment plan on what the county or region will do if they fall out of compliance with any of the metrics. This containment plan must be accompanied by letters of support from local elected leaders including county commissioners and mayors, the hospitals that serve that community, law enforcement, county emergency management, local public health, and if applicable, tribes.

The certification process will begin next week. To learn more about how a community can qualify, click here.

Communities in Protect Our Neighbors will be able to permit all activities to occur at 50 percent of pre-pandemic capacity, with at least six feet between non-household members and no more than 500 people in one setting at a time. Local communities may issue more detailed guidelines or public health orders for different settings, so long as the capacity does not exceed these caps.


June 29, 2020 

The Governor extended an Executive Order allowing food trucks to operate at Colorado’s rest areas to support truckers and the movement of commercial vehicle activities.

The Governor also amended and extended an Executive Order ordering the temporary suspension of certain statutes concerning taxpayer filing requirements for certain taxable property due to COVID-19.


June 27, 2020 

The Governor signed an Executive Order directing the Colorado Department of Human Services to access federal funds for child care services during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure stability and consistency for child care providers and protect the vital role they play for children and families.

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order extending the use of telehealth services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Governor extended an Executive Order concerning the temporary suspension of certain requirements preventing the issuance of marriage licenses, and extended an Executive Order concerning the suspension of certain regulatory statutes.

The Governor extended an Executive Order ordering the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning petition gathering for Unaffiliated and Independent candidates for office.


June 24, 2020

The Governor signed Executive Order D 2020 114, allowing voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed under certain conditions.

Gov. Polis also signed the following bills into law and signed Executive Order in response to COVID-19.

BILL # TITLE HOUSE SPONSOR SENATE SPONSOR
HB20-1413 Small Business Recovery Loan Program Premium Tax Credits Reps. Bird & Cutter Sens. Zenzinger and Donovan
SB20-222 Use CARES Act Money Small Business Grant Program Reps. Young & Will Sens. Winter & Bridges

June 22, 2020

Gov. Polis signed legislation that will provide relief and support to Coloradans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BILL # TITLE HOUSE SPONSOR SENATE SPONSOR
HB20-1197 2-1-1 Statewide Human Services Referral System Reps. Snyder & Rich Sen. Bridges
HB20-1410 COVID-19-related Housing Assistance Reps. Gonzales-Gutierrez & Exum Sens. Gonzales & Zenzinger
HB20-1411 COVID-19 Funds Allocation For Behavioral Health Reps. Michaelson Jenet & Kraft-Tharp Sens. Pettersen & Fiends
HB20-1412 COVID-19 Utility Bill Payment-related Assistance Reps. Kennedy & Cutter Sens. Story & Zenzinger
HB20-1417 Care Subfund In The General Fund Rep. Becker Sen. Hansen
HB20-1422 Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program Reps. Esgar & Cutter Sens. Zenzinger & Story

June 20, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 109, extending the state of disaster emergency and providing additional funds for response activities due to the presence of coronavirus.

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 108, to increase the Medicaid home health workforce and eliminate cost-sharing for coronavirus testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees. “This Executive Order extends Executive Order D 2020 077, which suspends certain statutes to preserve the State’s Medicaid home health workforce and protect Medicaid enrollees from COVID-19 by reducing the need for in-person visits. I also temporarily suspend statutory requirements for cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees,” the Executive Order reads.

Governor Polis also extended Executive Order D 2020 112, concerning criminal justice as well as Executive Order D 2020 111, issuing emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents.


June 19, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 107, allowing for the operation of alternate care sites in response to COVID-19.

“This Executive Order extends Executive Order D 2020 071 for an additional thirty (30) days from June 18, 2020, to ensure health care facilities have sufficient resources and to ensure the safety and well-being of COVID-19 patients who no longer require inpatient hospitalization but still require some medical care and observation while recovering from COVID-19,” the Executive Order reads.


June 16, 2020

The Governor signed Executive Order D 2020 105, to extend certain state income tax payment deadlines for all Colorado taxpayers to quickly provide relief from payment and penalties due to COVID-19.

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 106, activating the Colorado National Guard to assist with election cybersecurity defense efforts during the 2020 state primary election on June 30, 2020.


June 14, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 104, temporarily suspending certain statutes to maintain eligibility for Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan.

The Governor took action and signed Executive Order D 2020 101, ordering state agencies to help prevent evictions of tenants economically harmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 099, which allows the Department of Local Affairs to continue to provide rental and mortgage assistance and encourages local governments to loosen housing restrictions.  In addition, the Governor signed an Executive Order continuing expedited unemployment insurance claims processing and one providing relief to public utility customers affected by COVID-19.

The Governor signed Executive Order D 2020 103, temporarily suspending certain statutes around signature collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates who are required to file petition with the Secretary of State under Title 1, and authorizing the Secretary of State to create temporary rules to allow for mail and email signature collection.

Gov. Polis also signed an Executive Order ordering the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning the signature collection for ballot issues and authorizing the Secretary of State to create temporary rules to allow for mail and email signature collection.


June 12, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 095 extending changes to the 2020 primary election to limit in-person contact while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations.

The Governor also extended an Executive Order concerning the temporary suspension of open burning and extended an Executive Order expanding the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities.


June 9, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 094, amending and extending prior Executive Orders suspending certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to COVID-19.


June 5, 2020

Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order cutting red tape for restaurants and suspending certain statutes to remove bureaucratic barriers to serving alcoholic beverages in temporary outdoor dining spaces.

The Executive Order allows restaurants to obtain temporary approval from State and local licensing authorities to modify their licensed premises to include outdoor dining areas within 1,000 feet of the restaurant, and also allows for the consumption of alcoholic beverages on a public right of way that has been authorized by ordinance, resolution, or rule adopted by a municipality, city and county, or county.

This Executive Order also requires the Department of Revenue’s Liquor Enforcement Division to respond to the submission of an application for the temporary modification of a license within 24 hours to prevent any delays in restaurants offering safer outdoor service during the pandemic.


June 4, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 092, amending and extending prior Executive Orders concerning non-medical face coverings, to provide discretion to employers and operators of places of public accommodation to deny admittance or service and require the removal of any individual who fails to wear a medical or non-medical face covering. This Executive Order takes effect immediately.


June 1, 2020

Gov. Polis today signed an Executive Order, transitioning from Safer at Home to Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors. Previously, high-risk Coloradans, those above 65 or with underlying health conditions, were required to stay home unless absolutely necessary. With this Executive Order, those individuals are now encouraged to also enjoy Colorado’s outdoor spaces at a safe social distance, in addition to staying at home as much as possible. This Executive Order also directs the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to issue a corresponding Public Health Order.

CDPHE is also releasing draft guidance on houses of worship, outdoor recreation, personal recreation, and updates to the child care and personal services guidances. Playgrounds and swimming pools can open at limited capacity and the Governor encourages people to have safe fun outdoors away from others. CDPHE is soliciting input from industry and key stakeholders on the draft guidance, and comments are due by Wednesday, at 12:00pm. Final versions will be released Thursday, June 4, 2020. CDPHE also released guidance for short-term rentals, allowing them to reopen as of June 1, 2020. Guidance issued under Safer at Home is still in effect unless updated by this Executive Order or under CDPHE.


May 31, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020-089, extending the temporary suspension of certain statutes concerning taxpayer filing requirements for certain taxable property. The Governor also signed Executive Order D 2020-090, allowing food trucks to operate at rest areas to support the movement of commercial vehicle activities.


May 29, 2020

Gov. Polis extended the Executive Order limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections and expediting unemployment insurance claim processing for 15 days.

The Governor signed an extension directing the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to provide additional funds to nursing homes and other congregate care facilities that care for vulnerable older and disabled populations. This EO ensures that Coloradans have access to a safe environment and adequate health care facilities and that facilities serving the elderly and disabled have the resources necessary to protect their residents from COVID-19.

Gov. Polis also extended and amended an Executive Order temporarily suspending certain regulatory statutes, and extended Executive Orders concerning petition collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates, temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers to perform notarizations, suspending certain statutes preventing the issuance of marriage licenses when county clerk and recorder offices are closed, and expanding telehealth services.


May 26, 2020

Gov. Polis discussed the new state guidelines around in-person dining at restaurants, day camps, and private campgrounds, as well as the decision-making process around implementing or loosening restrictions.

The Governor has previously outlined several criteria when making decisions about what can be reopened safely:

  • What level of suppression of the virus has been achieved?
  • What is the ability to do testing and containment?
  • How well are vulnerable individuals, who are a significantly greater risk, being protected?
  • Does the health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?
  • What’s the level of risk vs. societal/economic/psychological reward?
  • Is the policy sustainable?

Beginning May 27, 2020, restaurants are allowed to re-open for in-person dining at 50% capacity. The restaurant industry has a significant impact on Colorado’s economy, employing almost 300,000 Coloradans, or 10% of the state workforce.

The state released key guidelines for restaurants to keep customers and staff safe, including:

  • Limit the number of people that can be inside the establishment at a single time to 50% capacity.
  • Parties will be limited to 8 or less and parties will be seated six feet away from each other; intermingling of parties will be prohibited.
  • All employees must wear face coverings.
  • All surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between parties.
  • Increase indoor ventilation by opening doors and windows and limiting air conditioning, which recycles the air inside the establishment.
  • Work with local governments to suspend some rules to maximize outdoor service.

Summer day camps can reopen with strict precautions. Sleepaway camps will still be prohibited through June. There are a number of ways the state is mitigating risk to kids, employees, and parents:

  • Employees must wear protective gear and adhere to hygienic and disinfecting practices.
  • Campers must wear a mask whenever possible, and groups larger than 10 kids in a group indoors or 25 kids in a group outside are prohibited. The 10 or fewer indoors limit is consistent with current guidelines for child care programs.
  • Campers will be subject to temperature checks to screen for symptoms of COVID-19.

The Governor also discussed the timeline for these decisions, as well as for future decisions:

  • May 25 – Spring skiing allowed if permitted by host county, private campsites open
  • May 27 – In-person dining can resume at 50% capacity
  • June 1 – Children’s summer day camps can open
  • After June 1 – Next steps for Safer at Home

In the beginning of this global pandemic, Colorado was seeing an exponential rise in cases where each person was spreading the virus to three or four other people. Gov. Polis announced today that, based on the data the state is seeing and modeling state epidemiologists are doing, each person with the virus is now spreading it to about one person or fewer.

The Governor is encouraging any Coloradan with symptoms to be tested for COVID-19. The state is now testing 4,000-5,000 people per day, and has the supplies to test 8,500 people per day.

Gov. Polis announced that the state has secured a 17-month contract with Honeywell for six million N95 masks to keep frontline health care workers safe.

Ski resorts can now work with local authorities to develop a plan on how to open as safely as possible, and secure local approval. Arapahoe Basin in Summit County will be reopening with strict precautions for distancing in lift lines, a mask requirement, no food or beverage service, and no tailgating. In addition, private campsites are not open, and state campgrounds have been open since May 12, 2020.

The Governor is hopeful the focus of the legislative session will be on building a resilient response, from a health perspective and an economic perspective, for Colorado in the face of the pandemic. The Governor also discussed the legislative session and reiterated the importance of lowering health care costs, supporting businesses and workers, improving air quality, and investing in public health. The Governor called on legislators to put the “Colorado Heroes Act” on the ballot next year, which would repeal the Gallagher amendment and freeze property tax assessment rates in this crisis.

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 080, allowing voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed under certain conditions.

View the Governor’s presentation and the full news conference. Read the FAQ here.


May 24, 2020

Governor Polis amended and extended an Executive Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Executive Order authorizes certain state agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents due to the presence of COVID-19.


May 22, 2020

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order that increases Colorado’s Medicaid home health workforce and eliminates copays for COVID-19 testing for individuals who rely on Medicaid.

The Governor signed an Executive Order extending the state’s disaster declaration. Normal in-person instruction continues to be suspended at all public and private elementary and secondary schools in the State through the end of the school year due to COVID-19.  Read the Executive Order here.

The Governor amended an Executive Order concerning criminal justice, extending provisions related to the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) duty to receive and take custody of individuals and DOC’s ability to utilize the Centennial south campus of the Centennial correctional facility for the housing of inmates of mixed classification.  This will allow DOC to continue to manage its inmate intake process to prevent the introduction of inmates who may be symptomatic or asymptomatic with COVID-19 to DOC, in compliance with CDPHE and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.


May 20, 2020

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order allowing the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado.

“In the event that a COVID-19 infection surge threatens to overwhelm our healthcare resources, the State may activate alternate care sites (ACS) to increase hospitals’ capacity to provide care to COVID-19 patients. The ACSs will be used to provide care to COVID-19 patients who no longer require inpatient hospitalization but still require some medical care and observation to ensure their safety and well-being while recovering from COVID-19,” the Executive Order reads.

To read the full Executive Order, click here.


May 17, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 065, concerning signature collection for ballot issues, which authorizes the Secretary of State to create temporary rules for registered electors to receive and return issue petitions over mail and email, and to support safe in-person signature gathering. Such signature changes have been challenged in court already.

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 064, which temporarily suspends the statutory provisions requiring registered electors to sign petitions for unaffiliated and independent candidates in the presence of a petition circulator, and authorizes the Secretary of State to issue rules that allow for signature collection in a manner that protects public health while the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration is in place.

The Governor also extended an Executive Order limiting in-person contact for the 2020 elections while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations. CDPHE also updated the state’s Safer At Home Public Health Order (PHO) to further clarify that elections are a critical government function adding election operations, including election judges, signature gatherers and circulators, campaign workers, and volunteers.

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order authorizing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to reallocate existing funds from contracts with local public health agencies to COVID-19 response activities. This will provide local public health agencies more flexibility to use certain funds provided by the State to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Polis also authorized CDPHE to redirect certain State funds to behavioral research designed to inform COVID-19 recommendations and educational campaigns focused on minority and traditionally disadvantaged communities.

The Governor also extended an Executive Order to help protect workers and residents in long-term care facilities and many other critical industries. The Executive Order requires workers at critical businesses to wear non-medical face coverings while at work and to wear gloves (if gloves are provided by an employer) when in contact with customers or goods.

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 068, suspending certain statutes that will allow Coloradans to remain eligible for critical programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan.  This Executive Order ensures that Colorado complies with Federal requirements.

The Governor also signed Executive Order D 2020 069, extending certain state income tax payment deadlines until July 15, 2020 for all Colorado taxpayers to quickly provide relief from payment and penalties.


May 14, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 062 concerning open burning. The Executive Order continues the temporary suspension of statute in order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. This will reduce the risk of fire and enable firefighters and other first responders to participate in COVID-19 response efforts throughout the State.

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 063 ordering the continued temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities.


May 10, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 060 amending and extending Executive Order D 2020 034, temporarily suspending certain regulatory statutes related to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), including Division of Youth Services centers, and public and private behavioral health facilities, to enable CDHS to respond to the pandemic and undertake efforts to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19 in CDHS facilities.


May 8, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 058 extending the Disaster Emergency Declaration for COVID-19. This Executive Order extends the state of disaster emergency and provides additional funds for response activities due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado.  This Executive Order also extends the employment of the Colorado National Guard to support and provide planning resources to State and local authorities as they respond to the presence of COVID-19 in the State.  


May 4, 2020

Gov. Jared Polis issued an Executive Order to allow food trucks to operate at Colorado’s rest areas to support truckers and the movement of commercial vehicle activities. The goal of the Executive Order is to help truck drivers have access to affordable meals on the road.


April 30, 2020

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 050, restricting spending for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. The Executive Order directs the Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) to submit the sequestration plan outlined in the Executive Order to the Joint Budget Committee and General Assembly. The sequestration plan set out in the Executive Order D2020 050 is a targeted and practical approach to reduce spending quickly by $228.7 million to attempt to maintain the statutory reserve requirements directed by statute. It builds on OSPB’s Guidance for Fiscal Conservation issued March 30, 2020 and does not rely on broad across-the-board cuts but rather specific line item reductions that can be made with the least possible impact to State programs and services. Importantly, the Executive Order does not mandate any furloughs or layoffs for State employees this fiscal year, and we want to ensure we have a strong, stable State workforce as we manage the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full Executive Order and OSPB plan here.

Gov Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 054, directing the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide additional funds to nursing homes and other congregate care facilities in response to COVID-19, as well as Executive Order D 2020 053, which extends the date that unaffiliated candidates may begin collecting signatures.

The Governor also extended Executive Orders temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers to perform notarizations, temporarily suspending requirements preventing issuance of marriage licenses, extending the closure of downhill ski areas until May 23, expanding the use of telehealth services, temporarily suspending certain statutes to provide State agencies with flexibility to fulfill their duties and respond to COVID-19, and limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections to provide relief to Coloradans.


April 26, 2020

Gov. Polis issued The Safer at Home Executive Order D 2020 044 which outlines a new level in Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a more sustainable way of living for Coloradans while slowing the spread of the virus and allowing more Coloradans to return to work. The Executive Order is tentatively set to expire 30 days from April 27, 2020, but can be amended or extended at any time.

Coloradans should continue staying home as much as possible, and the Executive Order directs vulnerable populations, including seniors, to continue staying home, only leaving when absolutely necessary.

Changes happening during Safer at Home will be phased in, with different changes going into effect April 27, May 1, and May 4.

Monday, April 27

  • Retail businesses can open for curbside delivery. Real estate home showings can resume. Voluntary or elective medical, dental, and veterinary surgeries and procedures may resume if facilities are following required safety protocols.

Friday, May 1

  • Retail businesses can phase-in a public opening if they are implementing best practices.
  • Personal services can open if they are implementing best practices.

Monday, May 4

  • Offices can reopen at 50% reduced in-person staffing capacity, if best practices are being implemented to protect the health and safety of employees. Businesses are encouraged to allow employees to continue telecommuting at higher levels if possible. Child care facilities can also expand or reopen if they are following Safer at Home requirements.

Colorado is a diverse state and the Governor knows each community will have different needs. The Safer at Home order outlines the options local governments will have when it comes to slowing the spread of the virus and protecting their communities.

  • Local governments can implement the guidelines of Safer at Home to match the State.
  • Local governments can go further than the State, including but not limited to stay-at-home orders or additional protective measures.
  • Local governments can relax guidelines more than the State. To do so, local governments will need to demonstrate proof of 14 consecutive days of decline of infection of COVID-19 in the county. They also must submit an application to CDPHE that includes a written COVID-19 suppression plan approved by the appropriate local public health authority, all hospitals within the jurisdiction, and elected leadership.

Read the Safer at Home Executive Order here.

The Governor also signed Executive Order D 2020 045, which will allow medical, dental, and veterinary voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to resume as long as the health care facility or other setting is following the required safety protocols as set out in the Executive Order. This goes into effect Monday, April 27, 2020. Under this Executive Order, facilities performing these procedures must establish a plan to reduce or stop voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures if there is a surge of COVID-19 infections in the county or municipality in which they are located. CDPHE will determine the conditions that constitute a surge. Read the Executive Order here.


April 23, 2020

Gov. Polis extended Executive Order D 2020 015 authorizing certain State agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date for certain licenses and other documents to limit in-person renewals and enable state agencies to better respond to COVID-19. This includes state park passes and licenses for health care facilities, Medicaid and CHIP providers, commercial drivers, and more. Read the full Executive Order here.

In addition, the Governor amended and extended Executive Order D 2020 016 that suspends certain statutes concerning criminal justice to provide the Colorado Department of Corrections with discretion to combat the spread of COVID-19 in State prisons. Read the full Executive Order here.


April 19, 2020

Gov.  Polis took additional action in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and signed a new Executive Order. Executive Order D 2020 040 amends and extends Executive Order D 2020 010  giving all Colorado taxpayers the option to make income tax payments for tax years ending in 2019 or 2020 that would normally be due between April 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020, by July 15, 2020.


April 15, 2020

Gov.  Polis took additional action in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and signed two Executive Orders. 

Executive Order D 2020 038 provides hospitals and health care providers more flexibility to expand the trained medical personnel available to provide health care services within inpatient facilities in response to COVID-19. 

Executive Order D 2020 037 temporarily suspends the statute concerning fire bans in order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. This will enable fire firefighters and other first responders to participate in the COVID-19 response efforts throughout the State.


April 14, 2020

Gov. Jared Polis signed two Executive Orders to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Governor signed Executive Order D 2020 035, amending Orders D 2020 007 and D 2020 021, which supports emergency child care for essential workers and temporarily suspends certain statutes, enabling schools and school districts to focus on delivering instruction and student services. Read the Executive Order here.

The Governor also signed D 2020 036 extending Executive Order D 2020 005, as amended by Executive Order D 2020 008, which limits in-person contact for the 2020 elections and the secretary of state’s operations. The Executive Order is extended by an additional 30 days. Read the Executive Order here.


April 11, 2020

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order suspending certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health to provide the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) with the flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the Executive Order here.


April 9, 2020

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order extending the disaster emergency declaration for COVID-19 for an additional 30 days. The disaster declaration allows Colorado to access additional resources, temporarily waives procurement statutes for purchases related to COVID-19. Read the Executive Order here.

The Governor also signed an Executive Order extending deadlines for state severance taxes. This is a one-time extension from April 15, 2020 until May 15, 2020. Read the Executive Order here.


April 6, 2020

In an unprecedented television address, Governor Polis addressed the state of Colorado directly and announced an extension to the stay-at-home Executive Order. The Executive Order will now remain in effect until April 26. ( View the Governor’s address here. Read the Executive Order here. Read the text of the Governor’s address as prepared for delivery here). The Governor also rescinded Executive Order D 2020 013 requiring all Colorado employers to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%. This is being rescinded because it is superseded by the stay at home Executive Order. Read the Executive Order here

The Governor also signed an Executive Order extending D 2020 012, which limits evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections, as well as expedites unemployment insurance claims processing. Read the Executive Order here.

Gov. Polis is taking steps to help families and businesses by extending additional tax filing and payment deadlines. Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order issuing a one-month extension for filing and remitting state and state-administered local sales tax. Read the Executive Order here.

In addition, the Governor extended Executive Orders on the temporary suspension of elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures, the closure of ski areas, the suspension of in-person requirements for notarizations, and the issuance of marriage licenses when county clerk and recorder offices are closed, as well as the suspension of other regulatory requirements, including clarifications to alcohol delivery and takeout, requirements related to taxicab carriers, in-person processes for background checks, and driver’s license and identification card renewal, due to the presence of COVID-19.


April 1, 2020

Gov. Polis today provided an update to the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Polis also announced that he would extend the suspension of normal in-person learning at all public and private elementary and secondary schools until April 30.  Read the full Executive Order here.

The Governor signed an Executive Order expanding the use of telehealth services. This will increase the capacity of the state’s health care system, help preserve critical personal protective equipment needed for medical professionals on the front lines, and allow Coloradans to meet with a doctor remotely. Telecommunications providers have made a commitment to ensure that telehealth services can be effectively delivered in Colorado communities. Read the full Executive Order here.

The Governor also provided guidance to all State agencies and departments, as well as the public, on methods of service of process. View the guidance here.


March 29, 2020

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers to perform notarizations.

The Executive Order also authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate and issue temporary emergency rules in order to facilitate remote notarization.

The order is in effect March 27, 2020 and shall expire in thirty days unless extended by further Executive Order. Read the Executive Order here.

On Wednesday, March 25, Governor Polis submitted an urgent request to the federal government to help Colorado deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sunday, March 29, Governor Polis announced that President Trump and the federal government had approved the Governor’s request in declaring a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado.

Colorado is one of the states with the highest presence of COVID-19 on a per-capita basis, with a unique situation unfolding in the mountain communities. Colorado continues facing a shortage of resources in addressing this pandemic.

Read Governor’s Polis request which was supported by the majority of Colorado’s federal delegation here.  The Governor has engaged with Colorado’s congressional delegation daily on multiple calls and efforts to prioritize areas of federal relief. Members of Colorado’s federal delegation sent a letter to the President on Thursday urging him to approve Governor Polis’ request. Read their letter here.

California, Washington and New York have received these declarations.


March 26, 2020

Gov. Polis announced Executive Orders taking further action to protect public health and safety. 

The Governor signed an Executive Order authorizing certain State agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date for certain licenses and other documents to limit in-person renewals and enable state agencies to better respond to COVID-19. This includes state park passes, and licenses for health care facilities, Medicaid and CHIP providers, commercial drivers, and more. Read the full Executive Order here

In addition, he signed an Executive Order updating protocol for state prisons and community corrections facilities. The Executive Order provides flexibility to DOC facilities and suspends certain requirements in order to protect the health and safety for Coloradans. Read the full Executive Order here

Gov. Polis and the Department of Public Health and Environment released an updated public health order in accordance with yesterday’s executive order implementing a statewide stay-at-home order.

The public health order was updated to include a number of critical services such as:

  • K-12 public and private schools for the purpose of providing meals, housing, facilitating or providing materials for distance learning, and providing other essential services to students.
  • Postsecondary institutions including private and public colleges and universities for the purpose of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that Social Distancing Requirements are observed, such as security, medical and mental health service, housing, food service, and critical research
  • Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in-need of end-of-life services
  • Houses of worship may remain open, but must practice social distancing or use electronic platforms
  • Professional services, such as legal, title companies, or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions

All services included in the public health order are subject to social distancing requirements and are still encouraged to implement telework options and staggered schedules when possible. Businesses that have temporarily closed under the order can continue Minimum Basic Operations to protect assets. Read the updated order here.


March 25, 2020

Gov. Polis announced a statewide stay-at-home order beginning on Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 a.m. and will last until April 11, 2020. The Governor also provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and actions taken to limit the spread of the virus.

This executive order means Coloradans should not be leaving their homes except for critical activities including:

  • Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
  • Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
  • Seeking medical care
  • Caring for dependents or pets
  • Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
  • Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open
  • Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties

Read the full order here. Read the FAQ here. Read the public health order here. Watch the press conference here.

Gov. Polis released guidance to local governments and law enforcement agencies on limiting and preventing the spread of COVID-19. The guidance is meant to improve safety for all law enforcement officers and the Coloradans they interact with as well as detention center staff and individuals held in custody.

Guidance for law enforcement includes increased use of warnings or summons in lieu of arrest when public safety is not at risk; taking necessary precautions when interacting with members of the public who appear visibly ill; having jurisdictions implement pretrial diversion and release methods to lower the number of individuals held in custody at any given time; and more.

Guidance for all detention centers includes, whenever possible, practicing social distancing for individuals held in custody and staff; temporarily suspending all visitation; ensuring that no more than 10 people are gathered at the same time in any confined space; developing a protocol to regularly sanitize facilities; screening individuals coming in or being released from detention centers for any COVID-19 symptoms; screening all staff for COVID-19 symptoms; and more.

The County Sheriffs of Colorado also issued guidance in conjunction with the Governor’s guidance. To the extent that the County Sheriffs of Colorado’s Guidance for Jails and Other Police Contacts is more stringent than the Governor’s guidance, the County Sheriffs’ guidance should be followed.

To learn more about the Governor’s guidance, read the full document here.


March 24, 2020

Gov. Polis sent a letter to the Presidents of Albertsons Companies, which owns Safeway, and The Kroger Co., which owns King Soopers and City Market, encouraging new safety protocols for customers and employees. In the letter, the Governor also applauds efforts currently underway. The letter includes proposals for providing the greatest possible protections for workers and customers while minimizing economic disruption.

Proposals include:

  • Providing appropriate gloves, masks, face screens, and other personal protective equipment to grocery store workers to the extent possible
  • Consider expanding into grocery delivery services, prioritizing service to those at the highest risk
  • Provide daily designated time periods for higher-risk individuals to shop
  • Establish entrance/access controls to ensure crowds are in compliance with safe social distancing practices
  • To the extent possible, assign those employees with higher health-risks to tasks with lowest exposure risks such as backroom work

To read the letter and see the full list of recommendations, click here.

March 23, 2020

Gov. Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. Yesterday he signed an executive order directing all of Colorado’s non-critical employers to reduce their in-person workforce by 50 percent. In accordance with the executive order, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has also issued a public health order.

The executive order directs all employers to implement telework options to the greatest extent possible. If telework is not practical or possible, employers are encouraged to stagger work schedules to reduce the proximity of employees during work hours and to keep employees on payroll. This Executive Order does not apply to any employer that can certify that employees are no closer than six feet from one another during any part of their work hours.

To read the executive order, click here. To read the public health order, click here.  To see frequently asked questions, click here.


March 22, 2020

Late yesterday CDPHE issued much-needed clarification on their Social Distancing Health Order. Among other things, they added explicit exceptions for homeless shelters and child care centers, two topics discussed on the listserve last week. The revised order also contains a clear exemption for meetings of municipal governing bodies. More information can be found here.


March 21, 2020

Overnight three new executive order were signed and posted by Governor Polis, and are available for viewing here: https://www.colorado.gov/governor/2020-executive-orders  Each one of these Orders reflects the Governor’s authority to temporarily “suspend” the operation of state statutes during a declared emergency.

D 2020 010 Concerning Tax Relief.  

The primary purpose of this one is to extend the statutory filing deadline for state income taxes, but one paragraph in the Order says this about local taxes:

“I direct DOR to coordinate with local governments that choose to extend tax payment deadlines for property, sales and use taxes and take whatever action they need to let them waive penalties and fees during the crisis.” The Order does not, however, require municipalities to do anything specific at this point. Furthermore, notably, the Order does not expressly suspend any of the statutes that govern the deadlines and penalties associated with payment of state-collected sales and use taxes, or collection of property taxes by county treasurers.

D 2020 011 Concerning Alcohol and Marijuana Regulatory Relief

This Order suspends all of the statutes that prevent bars, restaurants, etc. from selling alcohol beverages for off-premises consumption.  Of particular note, the Order does NOT suspend open container laws, thus any alcohol beverage for off-premises consumption can only be sold in a sealed container.  The Order also relaxes certain restrictions on “sales rooms” associated with craft breweries, wineries and distilleries. The Order is effective immediately statewide, with no additional approval by local licensing authorities required.  Additional information from the Liquor Enforcement is available here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/LED%20EO%20D2020%20011%20On%20Premise%20%26%20Breweries%20Delivery%20and%20Sales%20.pdf

Also included in this Order are a couple of provisions related to marijuana which weren’t mentioned in the Governor’s press conference yesterday, one making it easier for all MJ business to do on-line sales; another making it possible to obtain an MMJ diagnosis without physically visiting a doctor.  A good analysis of these provisions is contained in this article: https://www.westword.com/marijuana/colorado-governor-allows-dispensary-curbside-orders-mmj-telemedicine-to-limit-covid-19-11670075

D 2020 012  Eviction, Foreclosure, Utility, and Unemployment  Relief

In this wide-ranging Order we just want to highlight one provisions mentioned yesterday in the Governor’s announcement:

“To preserve and prioritize the resources of State and local agencies and make law enforcement officers available to perform critical functions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I direct the Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to work with all Sheriffs, Mayors, and other local leaders to take similar formal actions with their law enforcement agencies to suspend residential eviction activity in the State until April 30, 2020 unless such actions are necessary to protect public health and safety.”

As you all know, most hands-on involvement by local law enforcement in the eviction process is done by county sheriffs, not municipal police departments, per C.R.S. 30-10-515, but municipal attorneys may be asked about it.


March 20, 2020

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday asked landlords and banks to be lenient toward Coloradans and keep them in their homes as thousands in the state deal with employment as a result of the new coronavirus.

The governor requested that landlords refrain from imposing late fees on tenants until at least April 30 and asked that they also hold off on evicting people who don’t or can’t pay. He also asked local governments to avoid using law enforcement resources for evictions that don’t affect public safety.

Polis will also issue guidance to state-chartered banks that they should not foreclose on homeowners who can’t make their mortgage payments.

Additionally, Polis asked utilities to give leeway to customers who may be struggling to pay because of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and not cut off service. Xcel Energy and Denver Water have already taken this step.

The governor did issue one mandate regarding housing on Friday: that no state law enforcement resources — i.e. the Colorado State Patrol — be used for evictions that don’t affect public safety.

Read more.


March 18, 2020

Gov. Polis announced the launch of the Help Colorado Now effort where Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus.

The Governor signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17. The executive order directs Colorado school districts and the Charter School Institute to make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time while taking into account the needs of local communities. This order also directs the Commissioner of Education to issue guidance to support P-12 school systems in developing and implementing plans to assist families and students in accessing alternative learning, providing free and reduced lunch and breakfast, and offering waivers for instructional time as appropriate. Click here to read.

The Governor also announced that he would be extending the suspension of downhill ski area operations through April 6. COVID-19 has spread throughout many mountain communities where ski resorts are located, and this is a necessary step to help slow the spread of the virus. Last week, the Governor issued an executive order suspending ski area operations until March 22. Click here to read the order.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the Colorado Department of Public Health also issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. Gatherings include community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals or any similar event that brings more than 10 people together. Click here to read.

Governor Jared Polis signed the following bills into law today (March 18, 2020):

BILL # TITLE HOUSE SPONSOR SENATE SPONSOR
HB 20-1301 Electronic Attendance in School District Board Meeting -Under current law, local school district boards of education may adopt policies allowing board members to participate in meetings electronically, as long as a quorum of board members is physically present. The bill specifies that members participating electronically must be included in the quorum, and that the board must have a procedure for members participating electronically to have real-time access to any materials available for in-person members. B. Mclachlan J. Sonneberg
SB 20-091 Minimum Pay For State Military Forces – Under current law, the governor may activate Colorado National Guard units for state active duty to protect life and property during natural disasters and civil emergencies. A guard member’s pay rate during the emergency is determined by the member’s rank and years of service; however, the minimum pay for a guard member called to emergency service is $20 per day. This bill sets the minimum pay for a member to be equivalent to the pay rate of an enlisted person holding the rank of E-4 with over six years of service. The daily pay rate for an enlisted person holding the rank of E-4 with six years of service is estimated at $88.80. Assuming a 12 hour day, this equates to about $7.40 an hour. Under current law, the minimum pay is $20.00 per day, or about $1.67 an hour. T. Exum

R. Holtorf

J. Sonneberg

R. Zenzinger


March 17, 2020

Gov. Polis signed an executive order and House Bill 20-1359 (HB20-1359) administratively, allowing Colorado’s political parties to amend certain rules and procedures governing the conduct of their assemblies and conventions and to limit in-person contact during nominating assemblies and conventions. Read the executive order here and the bill here. 


March 16, 2020

The state issued a public health order on the temporary suspension of dine-in service at restaurants and bars. The public health order is effective March 17, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., and for the next 30 days closes brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, public bars, taverns, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, Cigar bars, gyms, gymnasiums, theaters, casinos, movie and performance theaters, opera houses, concert halls, and music halls, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption. These places are encouraged to offer food and beverage using a delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service. Read the public health order here.


March 14, 2020

Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order that directs downhill ski resorts to suspend operations for one week to slow the spread of COVID-19 and conserve medical resources in the state’s mountain communities. The Governor will continue to monitor the course of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state and may amend this Executive Order accordingly. Read the full executive order here.