ESSENTIAL VS NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES
All people in Colorado must follow the letter and the spirit of these orders. Do not try to bend the rules or find loopholes. It’s up to us all to keep people safe and build up our healthcare system so we can treat people who are sick and save lives.
The list below is not all-inclusive.
For individuals, consider whether the activity or services is necessary to keep a safe and healthy home or to care for yourself, loved ones, or animals. If it is not, it likely is closed or prohibited.
If you are a business, read the order carefully, see the additional guidance, and consult a lawyer if necessary. Err on the side of protecting public health.
Airport markets and restaurants
Animal shelters, boarding services, rescues
Auto rental, repair and supply shops
Bail bond agents
Banks, credit institutions, financial services
Bike repair shops
Construction* (see guidance)
Emergency dental procedures
Fitness centers and personal services included in residential facilities, only for guests or residents*
Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
Garbage, recycling, and sanitation services
Grocery and meal delivery
Hardware farm supply, & building materials stores
Higher education dining halls and grab-and-go food services*
Hospitals and health care operations
Houses of worship*
K-12 public & private schools; essential services
Lawn care and landscaping* for basic maintenance only
Liquor and cannabis stores
Moving to another residence, movers*
Online auto sales with “no touch” delivery
Outdoor fun, with people physically distanced at least 6 feet apart at all times
Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end-of-life services
Pharmacies and drug stores
Police and fire stations
Postsecondary institutions to facilitate distance learning and perform essential functions*
Public and private airports
Public benefits (SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines
Recreational vehicle parks, where RVs are being used as permanent residences
Residential care facilities
Room service in hotels
Taking kids to a shared parent’s house
Thrift stores *Must follow Social Distancing Requirements
No, Not Essential:
Apothecaries (these are not pharmacies)
Bars, taverns, brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other public places that serve alcoholic beverages onsite
Casinos, horse tracks, and off-track betting facilities
Cell phone retail stores
Cigar, tobacco, and vape shops, hookah bars
Fishing tackle retailers
Gymnasiums and other places that offer fitness, dance, and group exercise classes.
Leisure drives or motorcycle rides
Movie and performance theaters, opera houses, concert and music halls
Non-essential personal services -- hair salons, barbers, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors
Outdoor gatherings, unless people can stay at least 6 feet away from each other at all times
Recreation centers, bowling alleys, pools, and other indoor athletic facilities.
Routine dental procedures
Sporting goods stores, retail bike shops
In-person school through April 30. Distance learning is taking place
**People can clean for family members or vulnerable people they are caring for who live in another location More guidance on critical businesses and services
MULTI-INDUSTRY CONSTRUCTION GUIDANCE
Due to the unique issues related to supply chain, financing, contract deadlines, and public need,
construction may continue under Governor Polis’ stay-at-home order as long as Social Distancing
Requirements are followed on construction worksites. This is intended to allow for continuity of operations
on critical infrastructure such as roads, rails, airports, housing (especially low-income housing), energy
infrastructure and water infrastructure. However, as is reinforced by this guidance, construction projects
and companies in their supply chain are Not Exempt from social distancing requirements, even if
compliance means added cost. Hygiene protocols are strictly required. Moreover, people who are sick or
at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 must not travel to work, even if they work for a Critical
Business. The state also urges any small scale construction projects (e.g. home renovations) to be
reasonably deferred without penalty. For large scale and public investment, projects should be evaluated
on a case by case basis, in light of the guidance below, related to the stay-at-home order.
Social distancing on construction worksites
Critical functions including construction work MUST comply with social distancing requirements. The
following practices are important for applying social distancing to a construction worksite setting:
● Reduce size of work crews: Teams should reduce the number of people in each work crew to the
minimum number of people possible to perform the task safely, even if the reduction of crew size
means the job takes longer.
● Minimize interaction between work teams: Even groups within the same project should avoid
interaction across groups, to minimize possible viral spread if one worker contracts COVID-19.
Approaches to avoiding contact between groups may include staggered shifts, compressed work
weeks where different teams work different days, and maximizing geographic distance between
different teams working on the same project.
● Avoid contact with visitors: Visitors outside the typical work crew should avoid interaction with the
team wherever possible. For example, if an inspector or materials delivery needs to enter the site,
they should alert the work team (e.g. by honking the horn of their vehicle twice or through another
established communication means) so that the work team can vacate the site while the external
parties are present.
● Maintain a 6 foot distance between employees wherever possible: Construction teams should
make every effort to limit activities that cannot be performed within 6 feet of distance between
workers. However, some core construction activities may require some proximity to complete (e.g.,
concrete pours, utility potholing, work in cranes, drainage pipe construction, among others). In
these cases, construction crews must employ other aggressive measures to limit contact. Examples
include requiring employees to face away from each other, the use of supplemental Personal
Protection Equipment (PPE) like face shields or respirators, minimizing the number of people on a
team, and retaining consistency within work teams to limit contact with parties external to that
● Office work should be done remotely, whenever possible: Office functions associated with a
project (e.g. accounting or records) should be done from home to the maximum extent practicable.
● In-person meetings should be avoided : Office meetings and consultations should take place
virtually, with participants working from home or their work truck, whenever possible. If an
in-person meeting is absolutely necessary, that must be limited to fewer than ten people, and
participants must maintain 6 foot distance at all times during the meetings. All surfaces should be
wiped down before and after the meeting, and hand washing should also occur before and after the
● Workers must not congregate during breaks: Construction workers should not congregate for lunch
or other breaks.
● Activity specific work plans: Contractors should consider all job activities and review how they can
be accomplished using necessary social distancing and sanitation protocols.
Strict hygiene protocols must be utilized with all equipment and surface areas that are commonly touched.
Operators of light and heavy duty equipment, specifically, must:
● Clean commonly touched surfaces before and after operation: Cleaning: refers to the removal of
germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it
lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Cleaning is typically performed using soap,
detergents, cleansers and clean water before using a disinfecting method. Commonly touched
surfaces, include but are not limited to: door handles and grab bars, instrument panels, steering
wheels, devices such as cell phones;
● Follow cleaning activities with an approved disinfectant: refers to using chemicals to kill germs on
surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs
on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting is
typically performed using approved commercial or household disinfecting solutions. For a list of
CDC-approved disinfectants against viruses (including COVID-19 virus), see:
● Use of personal protective equipment for hygiene and safety: employees should wear all standard
worksite personal protective equipment (PPE), especially eye protection and gloves, as well as other
standard safety equipment (e.g. reflective vests or jackets). Face masks should be limited to
specific activities for which they are typically needed, because of a national supply shortage. PPE
may not be shared between members of a work team.
Monitoring employee health and avoiding travel for high risk personnel
● It is critical that individuals DO NOT report to work while they are experiencing illness symptoms
including any of the following symptoms:such as; fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat,
runny/stuffy nose, body aches, nausea, chills, or fatigue. If an employee does experience any of
these symptoms, they will notify their foreman or supervisor immediately so that appropriate
follow-up actions can be taken. A screening tool for employees can be found here .
● People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are urged to stay in their Residence at all times
except as necessary to seek medical care. People who are sick must stay in their Residence except
as necessary to seek medical care and must not go to work, even at a Critical Business .
● Any worker displaying possible COVID symptoms may not participate in construction work.
● Employees should monitor their health at the beginning of each work day and are strongly
encouraged to check their temperature at the start of the work day (although some COVID-19 cases
do not experience a fever).
● Individuals should also seek medical attention if they develop these symptoms by first calling their
primary care provider or urgent care center.
● A sick employee must not return to work until they have been asymptomatic for 72 hours. If an
employee is diagnosed as positive for COVID-19, they should not return to work until a medical
professional has provided written notice that it is safe to do so.
Focus on critical activities
● Focus on activities that are truly critical: Not all construction activities are of equal urgency. When
considering whether a project is critical, please consider factors such as:
○ Whether the project is under construction already and thus requires active traffic
management (in the case of a transportation project) or other work zone safety measures
that benefit from ongoing activity;
○ Whether deferral of a start date on a project would undermine public safety or continuity of
operations for critical infrastructure;
○ Whether the project can feasibly be done with social distancing measures as detailed above.
● Encouraging deferral of non-essential work: All project sponsors, public and private, are
encouraged to provide flexibility to construction contractors to enable them to delay work during the
period of the Governor’s stay at home order. For small projects, especially residential projects such
as home renovations, businesses and homeowners are strongly encouraged to provide construction
contractors with flexibility to defer work until after the stay at home order is lifted.
● Safe shutdown of work:When a project or project phase must be shut down due to the pandemic,
care should be taken that the project site is left in a safe condition. Traffic control devices must
continue to be inspected and maintained, so it is a best practice to minimize their need and use
when a project is temporarily inactive.