DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis issued a stay-at-home order on Wednesday afternoon. This follows Denver’s stay-at-home order and several health departments’ stay-at-home orders in the Denver metro area.

“This order is now the law,” said Polis.

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(credit: CBS)

“You need to stay home and do your part and I need to stay home and do my part,” said Polis. “We owe it to ourselves and our fellow Americans in order to save lives.”

Polis issued the order at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon. It will begin at 6 a.m. on Thursday, March 26 and apply to all of Colorado through April 11.

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

  • Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
  • 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
  • Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open
  • Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties

Read the full order here.

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“This is the season for staying at home to save lives,” said Polis.

The stay-at-home order restricts travel for only essential activities or to gather essentials like groceries and prescriptions.

This order comes as Colorado totaled more than 1,085 cases of coronavirus with 19 deaths and more than 140 hospitalizations. Polis said there are likely thousands who are undiagnosed.

“We need time. We need time to acquire the hospital capacity, to acquire the ventilators that we need to save lives,” said Polis.

Polis also requested a major disaster declaration for Colorado from Pres. Donald Trump. That will allow Colorado to receive federal funding.

That order is being granted for several states including California and New York.

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He also discussed scaling up testing in Colorado that will allow more people to get tested for COVID-19.