Today, Governor Polis announced the relaxation of certain restrictions on our economy and our society that were imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
With appropriate restrictions in place, these activities will provide tremendous economic, societal, and psychological benefits to Coloradans while mitigating the risk of spreading coronavirus.
First, the state’s prohibition on downhill skiing has been lifted. 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 tomorrow with strict precautions for distancing in lift lines, a mask requirement, no food or beverage service and no tailgating.
Second, private campsites are now open. Outdoor recreation — with appropriate distancing between parties — is a very safe and healthy activity to participate in during these times.
Third, the Governor has made the decision to allow restaurants to re-open on May 27 for dine-in service at 50 percent capacity and with numerous measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Limiting parties to 8 or less and requiring parties to be seated six feet away from each other;
- Discouraging the intermingling of parties at the restaurant
- Requiring all employees to wear face coverings at all times, and encouraging customers to wear face coverings while not eating or drinking.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces between parties
- Increasing the ventilation by opening doors and windows and limiting air conditioning, which recycles the air inside the establishment.
- Encouraging the use of outdoor space including parking lots, adjacent properties, and other space for food service.
- Working with local governments to suspend some rules to maximize outdoor service on surfaces like sidewalks, municipal parking lots, or even turning some streets into pedestrian zones.
Finally, on June 1, Gov. Polis is allowing summer day camps to reopen with strict precautions meant to mitigate the risk to kids, employees, and parents, including:
- Requiring employees to wear protective gear and adhere to hygienic and disinfecting practices
- Requiring campers must wear a mask whenever possible
- Prohibiting groups larger than 10 campers indoors and groups larger than 25 campers outside, which is consistent with current guidance for child care facilities.
- Screening campers for symptoms and checking their temperatures to prevent a potentially infected camper from spreading coronavirus to others at the camp.
Today, legislators returned to the state Capitol to continue their work on the legislative session.
Given the enormity of the crisis we face, the focus of this legislative session needs to be on building a resilient response to this pandemic from both a public health perspective and an economic perspective.
Governor outlined his priorities in three key areas: lowering health care costs, supporting impacted businesses and workers, and investing in public health infrastructure and first responders.
Lowering Health Care Costs
- Protecting savings from the reinsurance program and enhancing coverage options and opportunities for others struggling to access insurance coverage.
- Codifying portions of the state’s telehealth executive order so people continue to have access to reduced-cost, convenient telehealth during and after the pandemic.
- Pharmaceutical transparency to lower the cost of prescription drugs, which will help families keep more money in their pocket during these uncertain times.
Supporting Businesses and Workers
- Supporting a loan relief fund to help small businesses weather the crisis.
- Bolstering the state’s unemployment insurance program and adding provisions such as workshare, which is good for employers and employees, and allows for employees to work a reduced number of hours while still collecting unemployment insurance.
- Working towards a more permanent paid sick policy for Colorado. One of the first emergency orders Gov. Polis issued in response to this pandemic was a paid sick leave requirement so workers did not have to choose between getting paid or coming into work and spreading COVID. This pandemic has shown how critical paid sick leave is to keeping our workforce healthy.
- Codifying some relaxed regulations like ending the prohibition on curbside pickup and delivery of alcohol.
Investing in Public Health
- Supporting the people who are leading our response to this pandemic — our frontline heroes — by making sure that fire, ambulatory, health, and hospital districts throughout our state have the resources they need to meet this extraordinary crisis and protect Coloradans.