On March 25, 2020, Governor Jared Polis issued statewide stay-at-home orders, with the aim of lowering COVID-19 infection rates. The virus, also known as the coronavirus, has led to a nationwide state of emergency. The World Health Organization considers the coronavirus is a pandemic and numerous countries around the world have issued some sort of quarantine orders.
Colorado’s stay-at-home order is set to last until April 26. Federal guidelines involving social distancing and staying six-feet away from each other has been extended to April 30. Here are the specifics that Coloradoans need to know about the state’s stay-at-home orders:
Do we have to stay at home 24/7?
All Colorado residents are required to stay at home as much as possible. It’s understandable that people have to restock on groceries or seek medical attention if necessary, but if you don’t need to leave home, you shouldn’t. WHO, the Centers for Disease and Control and other medical experts agree separation is the best method for spreading the infection. This order also makes public and private gatherings illegal, unless the gathering is considered an essential activity.
What is considered an essential activity?
Activities that are essential to any anyone’s health and safety is considered a necessary task. This means obtaining medical equipment and supplies, walking your dog, visiting the doctor and picking up medicine are all considered essential activities. You are also permitted to leave home if you provide care for a family member or a loved one.
Other physical activities like walking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, biking and running are considered essential activities too since they involve exercise. However, people are still required to maintain social distancing requirements and stay six feet away from each other. If you do exercise, you are expected to do it alone or with few people.
Which businesses and government agencies are allowed to be open?
Under Colorado’s stay-at-home order, any entity considered a “critical business” is allowed to remain open. Any business related to healthcare operations are allowed to stay open, including but not limited to clinics, dentists, pharmacies, and nursing homes. Other healthcare operations like veterinary care, medical supply and blood banks are considered critical businesses too.
Companies that maintain infrastructure like utilities, electricity, farms, livestock, energy, oil, road and railways, and public water are permitted to continue operation during the stay-at -home order. Places of accommodation like hotels are considered critical infrastructure too.
The stay-at-home order does not affect nonprofits that provide food, shelter and social services to disadvantaged people. Homeless shelters and food pantries can remain in operation during the stay-at-home orders.
Basically, any business that is necessary to maintain our livelihood and health can be deemed a critical business.
What happens if I ignore the stay-at-home order?
“This order will be enforced by any appropriate legal means,” reads the governor’s order. “Local authorities are encouraged to determine the best course of action to encourage maximum compliance.” There are no specific details on the types of charges or punishments violators may face for breaking the order.
What’s the difference between quarantine and staying at home?
Quarantine involves keeping sick people away from other people, so the infection doesn’t spread. Staying at home and isolation is when healthy people avoid contacting other people, so the virus doesn’t spread. By keeping people separated, the CDC believes coronavirus infections will drop.
People who test positive or have symptoms of the coronavirus should be in self-isolation, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Symptoms of the coronavirus include dry coughing, body aches, fatigue and chest tightness. Some people who have the virus don’t develop a fever or don’t show symptoms until they’ve had the illness for a few days.
The health department says people who are in close contact with people who test positive for the virus or show symptoms should self-quarantine as well. For those who are sick or show symptoms of the virus, it is recommended that they quarantine for 14 days so they don’t spread the disease to healthy people.
Coronavirus quarantine and stay-at-home attorneys in Colorado Springs
If you have been charged for violating the governor’s stay-at-home order for Colorado, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Clifton Black has the experience to help you navigate through these unique times.
Our attorneys are veterans are defending criminal defense cases involving sex crimes, DUIs, drug crimes, white collar crimes and violent crimes. No matter what you are charged with in relation to violating quarantine and stay-at-home orders, the Law Offices of Clifton Black will ensure your rights are retained throughout your case.
Take advantage of our free consultation and call (719)328-1616. As your legal counsel, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf if you have been criminally charged.
Possible defenses against the stay-at-home order in Colorado Springs
If you are able to prove that your actions are considered essential under the state’s stay-at-home orders, you could argue to have the charges dropped. Were you out because of a medical necessity or needed provisions that are necessary to your livelihood at home? The order is unique in that there haven’t been many similar historical events like this one tried in Colorado courts. Therefore, it is essential to retain skilled attorneys if you are facing charges for breaking stay-at-home orders or quarantine guidelines.
Contact the Law Offices of Clifton Black today if you are cited for violating quarantine or stay-at-home orders by phone or through our website today.