Governor Polis Updates Coloradans on Timeline for Decision Making Under Safer at Home Phase

Monday, May 11, 2020

DENVER - Gov. Polis today provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and a timeline for decision-making during the Safer at Home phase. 

“I’m sharing Colorado’s decision making timeline and factors because I want to be as transparent as possible as to what the next few weeks will look like. Just as retail stores had some time to prepare to reopen after we announced it in April, our restaurants need a few days to get ready and be as safe as possible. We control our own destiny and our decisions will depend on what the data is telling us about how people are succeeding at wearing masks and staying apart during Safer at Home,” said Governor Jared Polis. “If folks are doing a good job at social distancing, staying at home, and wearing masks or facial coverings when going out, it will show up in the data, and we will excitedly remove additional restrictions on our economy. If not, some communities could be forced to look at implementing additional temporary restrictions.”

Gov. Polis announced that the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has determined that C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock is causing an imminent health hazard. CDPHE is using its authority under the Colorado Food Protection Act to suspend the license of the business indefinitely until it can be established that there is no longer a threat to public health.

As Colorado continues Safer at Home, there are a number of criteria the Governor is considering when making decisions on what can be reopened safely.

  • What level of suppression of the virus has been achieved?

  • What is the ability to do testing and containment?

  • Will this decision put vulnerable populations at significantly greater risk?

  • Does the health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?

  • What’s the level of risk vs. societal / economic / psychological reward? 

  • Is the policy sustainable?

The Governor provided updates for when decisions would be possibly made around whether or not Colorado can begin to reopen other industries or loosen restrictions. These dates do not reflect when an industry may or may not open, only when the state will have more data to inform a decision around when they may be able to open and at what level. 

  • May 25 - the state will decide whether ski resorts can be open for Spring skiing. Resorts will only open if the host county wants them open.

  • May 25 - the state will decide if restaurants can begin reopening and at what level. 

  • May 25 - the state will decide if summer residential and day camps can open in June, and if so, under what conditions.

  • After June 1 - the state will decide if the Safer at Home order can be further modified to phase in other things like summer activities and public spaces like libraries. The Governor will make these decisions on a rolling basis, based on the latest data and evidence.

Gov. Polis announced that starting May 12, Coloradans may begin booking campsites at campgrounds in state parks where host counties that would like them open. Sites must observe social distance and sanitation guidelines and accept campers by reservation only. This is not a request for counties to open their campgrounds, but if they choose to do so, counties can work with the Department of Public Health and Environment and Department of Natural Resources to do so as safely as possible. Coloradans are still encouraged to recreate locally.  Coloradans must make a reservation at 

The Governor also announced a partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS, Gary Community Investments, and the Colorado Education Initiative called Colorado Classroom: Learning at Home! starting Monday, May 18th at 8:00 a.m. Every Monday through Friday for the next five weeks, Rocky Mountain PBS will provide two hours of standards-aligned K-3 literacy and English language development lessons by master teachers to students across the state - from the Eastern plains to the Western slope - on Rocky Mountain PBS’s station.

The Governor and state know COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color and want to hear directly from all Coloradans so the state can have an informed public policy response that meets the needs of everyone. Visit and click on COVID-19 in Colorado and then the health equity response team to fill out the survey regarding your top concerns related to COVID-19 and racial disparities. Coloradan’s responses will remain anonymous and will help inform the work of the team from a community perspective.

For more information and FAQ’s about Safer At Home visit 

View the Governor’s presentation and the news conference

**Correction: During his prepared remarks while reflecting on the now 987 Coloradans who have lost their lives to COVID-19, Gov. Polis noted that John Sanchez was from Durango. Mr. Sanchez was from Denver. After his passing, his daughter said, “my dad was my everything. He was the best father, grandfather, son, friend, everything. He was a rare soul. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself and your family safe, quarantine, just take it serious because this could happen to anyone,” his daughter said.