By Audra Streetman

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The city of Boulder and Pitkin County Public Health joined Denver in announcing a “stay at home” order on Monday. The public health orders direct people to stay home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

(credit: CBS)

The Pitkin County order goes into effect immediately and lasts through April 17. It directs all non-essential businesses to close and tourists visiting the area to head home.

“For their protection and the protection of the community, we are asking the tourists to follow the national and state direction to head home,” said County Manager Jon Peacock.

The city of Boulder is encouraging people to only leave their homes for essential activities such as buying groceries or getting outdoors only if strict social distancing is observed.

“People need to take social distancing seriously to stop the spread of this virus,” said Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam. “We have asked everyone to maintain at least six feet between individuals and not to gather in groups. Voluntary measures are not enough, and we must enact a stay at home order for everything but the most essential activities if we are to flatten the curve and stop the social spread of COVID-19.”

RELATED: Coronavirus Update: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Issues ‘Stay At Home’ Order

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock issued a “stay at home” order during a news conference on Monday afternoon. Officials amended the order on Monday evening to exempt liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries and construction operations that enact physical distancing.

(credit: CBS)

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Officials in Boulder said businesses that provide essential services and cannot implement work from home policies should continue to implement social distancing for workers. Officials also recommend those employees wear personal protective equipment.

On Tuesday, Pitkin County Public Health plans to roll out a new “Community Symptom Tracker” program.

“We understand people are asking for more information regarding the spread of COVID-19,” Pitkin County Community Health Director Karen Koenemann said Monday. “This program is going to allow community members to report their symptoms to help us get a better understanding of the scope of the spread of the disease.”

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The stay at home orders in Boulder and Denver go into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Officials said the orders will stay in effect through April 10 and may be extended as needed.

Boulder’s stay at home order will be discussed at the virtual City Council meeting on Tuesday. To read the full public health order, visit the city of Boulder website.

Pitkin County’s stay at home order is available on the health department’s website. Denver residents can find a complete list of exceptions in the order at DenverGov.org.

Audra Streetman

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