Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order Saturday directing all of Colorado’s non-critical employers to reduce their in-person workforce by 50 percent effective today.

The order calls for all Colorado employers to reduce in-person work that takes place outside a private residence, except as permitted, by at least 50 percent.

Employers are also directed to implement tele-work or other work-from-home capabilities to the greatest extent possible. If tele-work or work from home is not practical or possible, employers are encouraged to stagger work schedules to reduce proximity or workers during work hours and to keep employees on payroll “as we endure this temporary disruption to commerce together.”

The order does not apply to any employer that can certify that employees are no closer than 6 feet from one another during any part of their work hours.

Critical workplaces exempt from the order include:

  • Health care operations.
  • Critical infrastructure such as 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, medial equipment, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products and agriculture.
  • Critical retail, including grocery stores, liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout, hardware stores and marijuana dispensaries, but only for medical curbside delivery.
  • Critical services, such as trash and recycling, mail, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses/distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries and 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 and auto repair.
  • Vendors that provide critical services or products including logistics, child care, tech support or contractors with critical government services.

“As long as I am in a position to lead Colorado’s response, I will continue to take bold steps and do everything in my power to protect our medical workers, limit the severity and duration of this crisis and save the lives of Coloradans,” Polis said in a Sunday press conference.

“In the short term, Coloradans must heed this order and take this gravely and seriously. But my team is moving as fast as they can to build a new Colorado paradigm to ensure that we can look more like South Korea’s successful strategy and less like the public health disaster that is crippling Italy right now.

“The virus is here in our communities and we need to respond. And in a vacuum of federal leadership, others need to step up, and here in Colorado we are doing and will do just that.”

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