D 2020 017
Ordering Coloradans to Stay at Home Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State

Link to Full Press Release

This executive order means Coloradans should not leave their homes except for critical activities including: 

  • Obtaining food and other household goods including medicine, alcohol and cannabis products
  • Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
  • Seeking medical care
  • Caring for dependents or pets
  • Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
  • Participating in outdoor recreation in your area at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties

You can read the full order here
You can read the FAQ here
You can read the public health order here
And you can watch the press conference where I announced the order here

FAQ’s on Routt County Executive Orders

Routt County Joint Information Center
March 24, 2020
FAQ’s on Routt County Executive Orders

I had plans to vacation in Routt County this week, may I still come?
Order One prohibits any new visitors coming to Routt County and staying in local lodging. All short term lodging (30 days or less), including but not limited to hotels, motels, timeshares, short term rentals (including but not limited to rentals done through direct owner to renter contact, a management company, VRBO, Airbnb, or other similar service), bed and breakfasts, lodges, retreats, RV parks, and camping is prohibited. There shall be no new bookings or reservations for the time period in which this Order is in effect. Reservations beginning on or after 08:00 a.m. on March 27, 2020 shall be cancelled.

Are there exemptions to the Lodging Order?
Yes, the following are exempt from the Lodging Order:
• Lodging necessary for emergency or quarantine purposes
• Lodging necessary to provide lodging for essential federal, state, county or local personnel, including, but not limited to, essential personnel for the County’s Emergency Operations Center and Public Health Department
• Advocates of Routt County’s domestic violence shelter
• Lodging necessary because it is not safe or possible for a guest to depart from the County
• Lodging that is occupied by a local worker

Can I invite friends over to my house?
The Order prohibits the gathering of five or more people not in the same household. The intent is to limit physical gatherings to members of immediate families and households.

May I meet up with friends to meet outside?
While we encourage people to recreate outdoors, Order Two prohibits the gathering of more than five, non-household persons. Put simply, adults, children and teenagers cannot congregate in groups, this includes for outdoor activities as well as at public places such as the post office or gas station. Additionally, we need to limit the number of shoppers in retail stores to stop the spread of the virus.

Is this Public Gathering Public Health Order the same as a Shelter in Place or Stay at Home Order?
No. We are trying to encourage people to adhere to the physical distancing guidelines and limit the amount of people who are together at one time. People can still go outside to recreate, go shopping, get take-out from our restaurants, but stay safe. Law enforcement will be enforcing these public health orders.

What are the Physical Distancing requirements?
Physical distancing, also known as social distancing, requires the following:
• Limit contact of people at least 6 feet from each other
• Limit contact to less than 10 minutes
• Wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer
• Cover coughs or sneezes into the sleeve or elbows
• Regularly clean high-touch surfaces
• Do not shake hands, employ another greeting that does not touch

Is anyone exempt from this Order?
All first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement personnel, daycares and childcare, and gatherings necessary for employment are exempt from this Order.

Can businesses have more than five people?
All businesses that remain open must meet the Mitigation Requirements:
• No more than five customers can be in a business at any one time (exceptions for some retail businesses)
• The business must have a cleaning process in place to reduce cross-contamination by customers when using pens, credit card machines, counters, gas pumps, and any other item that is touched by more than one person
• The Social Distancing Requirements must be met, including, but not limited to, while customers are standing in checkout line, while customers are standing in line to enter the business, and while shopping or otherwise conducting their business

Are any businesses exempt from the Public Gathering Order?
Any hardware store, grocery store or discount department store [City Market, Safeway, Natural Grocers, Hayden Mercantile, Select Super Market, Walmart, Ace at the Curve, and Walgreens] may have five customers for each 1000 square feet of their building and must take effective measures to implement this requirement.

Main FAQs on COVID-19

Routt County Joint Information Center
March 24, 2020
Main FAQs on COVID-19

What are the city and county doing?
The city and county are working closely with federal, state, and local public health officials to closely deal with an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The best thing we can do is stay informed, stay home and practice physical distancing of six feet. Our city and county are doing everything possible to keep our community safe.

What happens if we have an outbreak, how are we prepared?
Our Routt County Emergency Operations Center, which brings all local emergency resources together, has been administering the local resource for the past several weeks. This includes first responders to public health and city and county departments required to help deal with the response. Our goal is making our community as safe as possible and working together to slow the spread of the virus.

What is the Public Health Department doing?
Prior to any COVID-19 cases in Colorado, the Routt County Public Health Department was distributing cleaning and prevention guidance to community partners, the airport, healthcare providers in the community, businesses, schools, Skilled Nursing/Assisted Nursing Facilities and other vulnerable populations. The Public Health Department has ramped up and hired more staff to address this pandemic. Public health nurses have been staffing the testing site along with staff from UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. Public Health is issuing quarantine and isolation orders and conducting tracing on COVID-19 positive cases. They developed a High-Risk Task Force for vulnerable population preparedness to work with community agencies serving the elderly and at-risk populations. The Health Department receives daily alerts from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as well as participating in weekly calls with the CDC. The Routt County Public Health Department has been communicating out Health Alerts to all healthcare providers with new recommendations from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

How come we don’t have enough tests? Who gets tested?
We all agree, one of the challenges has been access to testing. We all want more tests available with quicker results, but based on current supplies, we are prioritizing testing for the highest at-risk patients, first responders, medical providers and law enforcement. A large portion of population can manage the virus at home. Testing results have taken 5-7 days to process.

If we can’t get tested what should we do?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Below are suggested measures from the CDC that can prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
• Practice Physical distancing of six feet or more
• Follow guidelines on travel
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick and keep your children at home when they are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe or using an EPA-approved cleaning product.
• It is important to call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room to prevent the spread of illness. Tell them your symptoms and that you suspect you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had recent travel to a country that is experiencing community spread.

What happens if I have come in direct contact with someone who has tested positive? What should I do?
It is recommended that you self-quarantine for 14 days. If you develop symptoms call your healthcare provider. If you don’t have symptoms, self-isolate, but no need to call healthcare provider (please don’t overwhelm them).

What happens if you have symptoms?
If you have any symptoms – even mild ones – the Department of Public Health urges you to stay home and isolate yourself until:
• You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
• Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
• At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
• Anyone in your household you have had close contact with (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.
• If you have a medical emergency, call 911. If you have severe respiratory symptoms, especially shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tell the 911 dispatcher about your symptoms. Do not wait for a COVID-19 test to call 911.

Do we have enough hospital beds?
Communities across the world have taken drastic measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, shutting down almost every form of public gathering, from schools to restaurants to church services. Among the primary reasons for these limitations is the fact that hospitals do not have the resources to treat the influx of patients who could become infected if such activities continue unabated. Locally, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center is a 39-bed hospital. The hospital has visitor restrictions in place to keep its patients, staff and physicians as safe and healthy as possible. The public should prioritize using other health resources, such as self-quarantining or consulting their primary care physician. Those without a primary care physician can schedule a virtual urgent care appointment online.

The community’s health professionals have plans in place to address growth and if additional resources are required.

Why are officials not releasing exact locations where infected people visited?
Health officials determined it is unlikely that releasing those locations would help. Medical experts believe the virus cannot survive on a surface for more than three days and typically do not receive information about the places where patients may have been until after the three-day window had passed. It appears that close proximity contact is more relevant than simply knowing a location.

What should individuals be doing right now?
Pretty much what we’ve been doing so far – stay home and limit contact with others through physical distancing, stay informed from reputable resources, remain calm and don’t forget about your mental health. Check on neighbors, family and friends with a quick call and through digital options.

Who is working to contain this virus?
The Routt County Emergency Operations Center working together along with state organizations such as Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), the Governor’s office and state agencies as well as national entities like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, all local agencies from North Routt to South Routt, West Routt and Hayden and those throughout the city and county, both public and private, are working to help the community get through this situation. It seems overwhelming, but we will get through this together much like the Yampa Valley has done for generations.

Are there enough food and supplies in supermarkets?
While stores may be out-of-stock on some products (like toilet paper and cleaning supplies), stores express confidence that items are being replenishment. The biggest driver of the out of stocks on shelves is that people are over-purchasing. It would help our entire community if people would follow the recommendation to purchase just what you need for 5-7 days, less if you can shop on a more frequent basis. In addition, many stores have adjusted hours for restocking and cleaning as well as established specific hours for vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries.

What is happening to all the businesses that have closed?
Our community has come together to support local outlets and the Chamber, Colorado Work Force Center, Social Services and Human Services are working to share resources, assisting those who need aid and relaying information about programs. While the business environment will continue to change over the next weeks and months, we must all adapt to these instabilities and most importantly, look out for each other.

Check out the Routt County COVID-19 website:
Other relevant websites: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment,,
Routt County COVID-19 Call line: 970-871-8444, 8:00 am-5:00pm
Follow on social media: Facebook – Routt County, Routt County Emergency Management, and Instagram Routt County

Routt County Launches COVID-19 Website

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO, March 20, 2020 — Routt County has launched a website that aims to address concerns of county residents, employers, workers and their families may have about how COVID-19 is affecting life here. The residents of Routt County are relying on each other to get through the personal and economic challenges presented by COVID-19 and Routt County can provide information, answers and resources. This portal will serve as a resource for our residents, businesses and their employees as we navigate these uncharted waters together. 

The website is: 

The site includes links to resources from local, Colorado and federal governments detailing their COVID-19 along with resources for employer sand their workers. The human and economic impact of the COVID-19 virus remains unknown, but we do know a lot of great organizations are standing ready to assist. Routt County will do everything we can to provide the support our community needs as we grapple with the economic, health and social challenges of the coronavirus and COVID-19. 

Routt County will update the website as new information becomes available. Routt County residents can also call the Routt County Help Line at 970-871-8444.

Economic Impacts Related to Employment

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO, March 20, 2020 — Our community is experiencing numerous economic impacts related to employment associated with the effects of the coronavirus emergency. If you are an employee who is out of work due to a business shut down, layoff, or your hours have been reduced, and you are not receiving sick leave or other paid time off, you may want to check into unemployment benefits. There are a number of resources you can access for additional information and guidance: 

  • Basic guide to unemployment benefits: nemploymentBenefits.pdf 
  • Job Attached Unemployment. “Job Attached” means that the employee is expected to return to their most recent employer after a separation of up to 16 weeks. Restaurant employees may be entitled to this benefit should their employer decide an extended closure is necessary. unemployment 
  • File for unemployment: 
  • Colorado Workforce Center offers free services to both employers and job seekers. For job seekers, it is a one-stop location for job training and placement assistance. Their resource center offers Internet access, resume preparation assistance, training, local resources, and more. 

There are some job opportunities out there, so do not hesitate to look. Demands at grocery stores, for restaurant and supplies deliveries, and maintenance, security and cleaning services have increased. 

Economic Impacts Related to Employment

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO, March 20, 2020 — Our community is experiencing numerous economic impacts related to employment associated with the effects of the coronavirus emergency. If you are an employee who is out of work due to a business shut down, layoff, or your hours have been reduced, (more…)

Town of Hayden Adoption of Emergency Ordinance 696 Declaration of Disaster via COVID-19 Pandemic and Emergency Operations Plan

March 20, 2020 – The Town of Hayden Town Council adopted emergency Ordinance 696 declaring a disaster resulting from COVID-19 Pandemic impacts and activated its emergency operations plan. What does this mean? It means Town Council has opened up additional financial resources from the State and Federal government for the Town and increased our ability to serve the citizens. Please see below specifics: 

  • The main reason the Council approved the ordinance was to open up State and Federal funding assistance to the Town as our resources begin to strain as a result of the economic impacts to the Town (which is already happening); 
  • The ordinance allows the Town Council to better work in unison with Routt County emergency management as well as other governmental agencies in Routt County; 
  • It prioritizes help for first responders to get the necessary resources they need in times of shortages (like right now); 
  • It gives the Town Council expanded legislative powers to better deal with this pandemic and protect the Town; 
  • It will help prioritize things like supply chains, financial help, food, etc., through the office of emergency management at Routt County for the Town. 

*The important thing to understand is that without this declaration the Town would not be eligible to receive any additional funding or help from the State and Federal government to mitigate COVID-19 impacts.* 

Outside of Federal and State Government Executive Orders (which must be complied with by everyone) we are operating and serving the Town just in a new and unique way. Be safe, healthy, and please email the Town with any questions and we will try and answer them. 

The Town is constantly updating things on our website at regarding this issue at and here are additional resources via websites 

Contact tracing: When a person is diagnosed with coronavirus, how do Routt County officials backtrack their movements?

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO, March 20, 2020 — When a person tests positive for COVID-19, the Routt County public health department’s team are alerted. The investigation begins with an extremely low-tech tool: a conversation. “We interview the person who has tested positive, (and) we identify all the people they’ve been in contact with in the period (more…)