Fort Collins open spaces see increase in visitor numbers since Covid-19 restrictions. Fort Collins Coloradoan
The Larimer County public health director issued a stay-at-home order for residents of the county to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus in the community.
County officials “estimate that transmission has already been reduced based on previous measures taken in Larimer County and Colorado,” according to a news release. The intent of the order is to decrease the length of restrictions in the community.
Here’s what you need to know about the order.
When is it in effect?
The order is in effect from 5 p.m. Thursday, March 26 through April 17.
Where does the order apply?
All of Larimer County, including unincorporated areas as well as Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud and other cities and towns.
How many cases are in Larimer County?
What am I allowed to do?
The stay at home order instructs residents to leave the house only for food and essential services. During this time you are still able to:
- Go to the pharmacy and get medication
- Visit a doctor
- Get groceries or supplies for you and anyone that lives in your home, including pets
- Take groceries or supplies to your at-risk parents, grandparents or neighbors and care for family members in another household
- Get supplies you need to work from home
- Have a take-out meal from restaurants
- Take your dog for a walk or go for a hike, as long as you are keeping at least 6 feet between you and others
- Visit city and county open spaces, again with proper distancing.
What are essential businesses?
The order does not apply to those going to work in an essential business or essential government function. Businesses are to continue while working in compliance with social distancing requirements as much as possible. Essential businesses are:
- Health care operations and essential infrastructure (public works construction, construction of of housing, electricians and plumbers, utilities, water, sewer, electric gas, roads and highways, public transportation, waste removal, recycling collection, internet, and more).
- Grocery stores, certified farmers markets, farm and produce stands, food banks, convenience stores, liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries (recreational and medical) and other businesses that sell food and consumer products (such as personal care and cleaning products). This includes stores that sell groceries and sell other nongrocery products necessary to maintain residences.
- Food cultivation, farming and fishing
- Businesses that provide for economically disadvantaged and other individuals
- Newspapers, television, radio and other media services
- Gas stations, auto supply and repair shops, bicycle supply and repair shops
- Banks and financial institutions
- Hardware stores
- Licensed gun and ammunition retailers
- Mailing and shipping services, including P.O boxes
- Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, janitorial services, private security services and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, essential activities, and essential businesses
- Educational institutions — both K-12 and colleges and universities
- Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry services
- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for carry-out
- Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home or that support other essential businesses
- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries or other goods to residences
- Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providing services necessary for essential activities
- Home-based care for seniors, adults and children
- Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults and children
- Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, title companies, real estate appraisals and transactions
- Child care facilities
What about non-essential businesses?
Those must close, and many already are per state orders. Non-essential businesses include:
- Dine-in restaurant services
- Bars and nightclubs
- Non-essential personal services such as hair and nail salons, massage and tattoo parlors, and spas
- Entertainment venues
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Public events and gatherings
- Convention Centers
- Public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit
- And other businesses not defined as essential
Non-essential businesses can continue “minimum basic operations,” which include:
- Necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, ensure security, process payroll
- Minimum necessary activities to facilitate their employees working from home
- The minimum activities to conclude manufacturing processes that cannot be safely stopped immediately
What about gatherings?
All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are not allowed, except for essential activities.
What are the penalties for violating the order?
If you violate the order, you can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and face a fine and/or jail time.
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Jennifer Hefty is an editor at the Coloradoan. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @jenniferhefty. Support her work and the work of the Coloradoan’s 15 other journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.
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