Now that Governor Polis has replaced his earlier stay at home public health order with a phased-in plan commonly known as “Safer at Home,” the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners is continuing to evaluate the best available data about the coronavirus spread in and near the County, and how it will impact the County’s residents and businesses.
The Tri-County Health Department, which has the statutory authority to issue or withdraw all public health orders, has concluded that the latest and best information dictates that a modified stay at home order should remain in place in Arapahoe County until May 8. This is approach is consistent with public health orders established in Adams, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver and Jefferson counties.
Governor Polis has directed local public health officials in all Colorado counties to implement data-informed strategies to protect public health in ways that best meet the needs of each community. Although some parts of the state do not have growing numbers of COVID-19 cases, more densely populated areas, including Arapahoe County, still are considered to be viral hot spots. The Board’s ultimate goal is to strike a balance between restarting the economy and preserving overall public health by advocating for practices that are known to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The safer at home order means that people are still being urged to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet, and to wear masks when out in public or at work; to refrain from holding gatherings of 10 people or more; and to stay home when feeling sick.
Businesses that are able to open should do so with “strict precautions” such as maintaining limited staffing levels, wearing masks and adhering to prescribed physical distancing measures. The state is still working on creating specific guidance for different industries, and the Board is committed to working closely with its municipal and business partners to provide feedback to Tri-County as the agency refines its business-specific guidelines.
The data around COVID-19 is changing constantly, and it presents a unique challenge to Arapahoe County because of our mix of urban, suburban and rural communities. But the Board is committed to finding a path that works as well as possible for all our residents and businesses, and the commissioners will provide updates and guidance as it arises.
“My fellow commissioners and I are acutely aware of how difficult this crisis has been for our residents and our employers,” said Arapahoe County Board Chair Nancy Sharpe. “We’re as eager as everyone else to get all our businesses up and running again, but we have to balance those considerations with doing what’s best for public health, particularly so we can avoid another spike in coronavirus cases.”
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