As of April 9, 2020, the restrictions contained in the Fourth updated PHO from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are in effect, statewide. This order is designed exclusively to protect against the spread of COVID19 and save lives, and compliance with the mandated portions of the order is required by law. Violations can be enforced either in civil court through an injunction, or as a criminal prosecution under CRS 25-1-516.
SHORT TERM RENTALS: To avoid importing the virus into the communities of northwest Colorado, and to mitigate against the possible overwhelming of medical resources, both Routt and Grand Counties Board of Health have ordered restrictions on short term rentals. Those orders are linked below. Compliance with the order begins with voluntary cooperation, then generally moves into education/notification from enforcement authorities to gain voluntary compliance with the public health order. If the party refuses to follow the law after that, the matter can be prosecuted criminally. To those property owners subject to this restriction, and to those who would otherwise visit the area, your cooperation is very much appreciated – if we discipline ourselves now to stay close to our home community, we can help save lives and return to normalcy sooner.
ROUTT COUNTY MITIGATION ORDER: Effective April 14, 2020 at 0800h, businesses and other operations are required to adhere to new protocols designed to combat the spread of COVID19. Routt County Standing Public Health Order 2020-03 is linked below. It requires, among other things, the use of a mask to cover the nose and mouth when entering the physical space of the business or organization. This requirement applies to employees and customers. Like all public health orders, under Colorado law violations are subject to criminal prosecution. You can track Routt County Public Health orders related to COVID19 at www.co.routt.co.us.
OUTDOOR RECREATION: For everyones sake, it is imperative we do all we can to stay in full compliance with the public health order, and for us in Colorado, that means changes in how we recreate in the outdoors. The current order allows us to get outside and enjoy ourselves, but only if we can do it in a way that complies with the orders’ social distancing requirements. Generally, problems arise at access points to recreations areas, like parking lots or trailheads, and destination gathering points like a summit or lake, or when groups of people behave irresponsibly and navigate on trails together in larger numbers. To simplify things, here is a summary of the current legal status of outdoor recreation: Outdoor recreation is permitted when it can be undertaken in a way where all persons maintain 6 ft from each other. Like any other mandate in the public health order, this requirement is enforceable through civil or criminal actions.”
COVID19 RELATED THREATS AND PHO VIOLATIONS: Sadly we have seen examples of people using the COVID19 pandemic to threaten others. Everything from spitting on first responders and police while claiming to have COVID19, to using social media to incite others to target vulnerable populations with COVID19 through violations of social distancing requirements. To be sure, this behavior is illegal, possibly constituting crimes such as Felony Assault, Felony Menacing, Violating Public Health Order, Inciting a Riot or Felony Inciting Destruction of Life or Property, just to name a few. PLEASE exercise sound and compassionate judgment in what you say and do in these crisis times, and know that public tolerance for this kind of threatening behavior is extremely low. We have also unfortunately seen some shockingly selfish violations of public health orders compelling enforcement through the criminal justice system, so please, do the right thing for you and your neighbors.