Just hours after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered the city’s residents to stay at home in a bid to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the City of Boulder followed suit, with Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam asking individuals Monday evening to stay inside amid increasing COVID-19 cases in Boulder and the state.
The order will officially go into effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. and will be in place until April 10.
“People need to take social distancing seriously to stop the spread of this virus,” Brautigam said in a statement. “We have asked everyone to maintain at least 6 feet between individuals and not to gather in groups. Voluntary measures are not enough, and we must enact a stay at home order for everything but the most essential activities if we are to flatten the curve and stop the social spread of COVID-19.”
City spokesperson Patrick von Keyserling said the decision came not as a response to Denver’s stay at home order but as part of a conversation with other front range communities about how to best respond to COVID-19.
“The best way to flatten the curve in our community and across the front rang is for everyone to abide by the stay at home order and only go out for essential businesses,” he said.
According to the declaration, individuals are advised to shelter in place and only leave their homes to perform essential activities such as getting medical supplies or food. High-risk individuals are asked to stay home except to seek medical care.
People without a home are exempt from the order but are encouraged to find shelter.
All public and private gatherings outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.
While Boulder Open Space will remain open to offer individuals recreation space, people are still asked to abide by social distancing, meaning group sports are not permitted.
All non-essential businesses are required to stop all activities, except minimum basic operations, and have employees work from home if possible. Businesses deemed essential include grocery stores and markets, newspaper and media services, banks, licensed liquor stores and both medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries.
When working at any essential business, individuals are required to use social distancing as much as possible. Those who run essential businesses are advised to schedule workers over the age of 60 at another time than other employees to help with distancing.
Any medical providers including nurses, pharmacists, behavioral health care providers and doctors are allowed to travel and are exempt from shelter in place. All hospitals and medical facilities will remain open.
All travel is also prohibited. This includes cars, motorcycles and public transit. Public transportation may only be used in performing essential activities or traveling to and from a legally allowed to run workplace. Social distancing requirements still apply to those on public transit.
According to the declaration, law enforcement in the city has the right to enforce the declaration and all members of the public are assumed to have seen the notice. Violators can face up to 90-days in jail and a $100,000 fine.
However, von Keyserling said this does not mean city police will be randomly stopping people who are outside and asking what their reason is. Officers will still be focused on addressing significant criminal activity.
Instead, he said the city is asking residents to use “common sense” and comply voluntarily.
You can read the full declaration here.
Contact CU Independent Senior News Editor Tory Lysik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor-in-Chief Robert Tann contributed reporting to this article.