City vs. county vs. state rules for re-opening: What Colorado business owners should know


DENVER (KDVR) — Business owners should follow the most restrictive health order in their jurisdiction when deciding how to gradually re-open their businesses, according to a Frequently Asked Questions guide distributed by Gov. Jared Polis’ office.

“If the city or county’s order is more restrictive than the state order, follow the city or county order,” the FAQ indicates.

“It’s kind of confusing, honestly,” said Cynthia Hogan, the co-owner of Charmed 33 Boutique, a clothing and gift store in Erie, Colorado.

Hogan’s shop is in the Town of Erie, but the city is in two different counties: Boulder and Weld. 

Each seems to have a different interpretation about what guidelines a business should follow.

Boulder County’s public health order expires May 8. Weld County does not have a separate public health order, and the Town of Erie has not yet ruled on any additional restrictions. However, the Board of Trustees for the town meets Tuesday.

“Unless the Board of Trustees takes action during its meeting on April 28, 2020 to adopt a more restrictive measure, Governor Polis’ Safer at Home Order’ will apply on the Weld County side of Erie, and the slightly more restrictive Boulder County Public Health ‘Stay at Home Order’ will apply on the Boulder County side of Erie,” the town’s website said.

Hogan and her business partner, Julie Styve, plan to reopen their retail shop on May 8, in alignment with Boulder County’s public health order even though their shop is in Weld County.

“We just want to be as safe as possible,” said Hogan.

“I just think that’s what people are going to want,” said Styve. “People are very, very skeptical about getting out and being around other people, and we just want to do what’s best for our customers and what’s safest.”

The two said they are excited to welcome their loyal customers back into their shop sometime soon.

“We will probably weep with joy,” Hogan said. “We miss everybody!”

Restaurants and bars, meanwhile, must remain closed, according to the governor’s FAQ. However, those establishments can still provide take-out and delivery services.

Troy and Tracy Dilka, who own the restaurant Fonta’s in Weld County, said they are happy to wait longer before reopening their restaurant, even though sales are down approximately 70 percent.

“Our business is our customers and our staff, and if we can’t keep them safe and we’re not safe, then what good are we to the community?” Tracy Dilka, whose mother recently passed away from COVID-19, said.

“It’s awful. It’s fast, and there’s nothing you can do,” Dilka said of the virus.

The Dilkas said it would be amazing to see and enjoy the customers again, but Troy Dilka said his biggest fear would be to reopen early, then something happens – like a hot spot developing.

“It’s going to be awesome when (the reopening) happens, but it’s going to be a slow process,” he said.

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