Gov. Polis orders non-critical workplaces in Colorado to reduce in-person workforce by 50%

Coronavirus
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis holds a COVID-19 news conference on Sun., March 22, 2020.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis holds a COVID-19 news conference on Sun., March 22, 2020.

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DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis on Sunday announced an order that non-critical workplaces in Colorado temporarily reduce their in-person workforce by 50%. The order runs from Tue., March 24 through Fri., April 10.

Video: Watch full news conference from Gov. Polis

It does not apply to businesses that can prove employees can remain six feet apart during the workday.

The following businesses are considered critical by the state and are exempt:

  • Health care operations.
  • Critical Infrastructure, including utilities, fuel supply and transmission, public water, telecommunications, transportation, hotels, organizations that provide for disadvantaged people, and food supply chain.
  • Critical Manufacturing, including food, beverages, chemicals, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, agriculture.
  • Critical Retail, including grocery stores, liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout, marijuana dispensaries but only for medical or curbside delivery, hardware stores.
  • Critical Services, including trash and recycling, mail, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses/distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries, animal shelters and rescues. 
  • News Media.
  • Financial Institutions.
  • Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations.
  • Construction.
  • Defense.
  • Public Safety Services like law enforcement, fire prevention and response, EMTs, security, disinfection, cleaning, building code enforcement, snow removal, auto repair.
  • Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products including logistics, child care, tech support, or contractors with critical government services.
  • “Critical Government Functions.” 

The executive order directs employers to have employees work remotely to the greatest extent possible or stagger schedules so workers have the least contact with each other as possible.

“We really want to encourage [even] those [critical] employers to step up and still make sure at least 50% of their workforce can telecommute,” Polis said.

“If we do not do more, our health care system will be overwhelmed,” Polis said at his news conference. He added that without taking stricter measures, “We could be forced into a wartime triage situation.”

“At the height of the virus in Colorado we might need 7,000 more ventilators than we have today,” Polis said.

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