Another large wave of closures has been announced as the state works to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a mandate on Thursday that all non-essential personal services in the state needed to shut down. These new restrictions are on businesses like barbershops, hair salons, spas, nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, and more. As per the order, a non-essential business is defined as:

“Nonessential personal services” means services and products that are not necessary to maintain an individual’s health or safety, or the sanitation or essential operation of a business or residence. Nonessential personal services include, but are not limited to, hair or nail salons, spas, or tattoo or massage parlors.” 

CDPHE’s order was part of an update to the Public Health Order 20-22 that was issued on March 16 shutting down bars, restaurant theatres, gyms, and casinos. This order will extend through April 30, and could be updated further as things have been changing quickly over the last few days. You can read the full order here and see exactly what kinds of business and facilities are affected.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis also imposed restrictions on elective and non-essential surgeries and medical procedures through an executive order, which is a separate order than the one that came from the CDPHE. The executive order was issued to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus to keep as much personal protective equipment available as possible for those working in healthcare. In particular, the governor hopes to preserve personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, respirators, ventilators, and anesthesia machines. This order will be in effect from March 23 through April 14, and includes all facilities in the state, except rural and critical access hospitals.

“…due to the presence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Colorado, all hospitals, outpatient surgeries, and procedure providers are directed to cease all elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures and to preserve personal protective equipment and ventilators and respirators from March 23, 2020, to April 14, 2020, with the exception of rural and critical access hospitals. Rural and critical access hospitals are strongly advised to follow this guidance but are not mandated to do so under this order.”

The order further defines what an elective or non-essential procedure includes:

“ As of 12:01 A.M. on March 23, 2020, all voluntary or elective surgeries or procedures, whether medical, dental or veterinary, are suspended in the State of Colorado until April 14, 2020, at the earliest. A voluntary or elective surgery or procedure means that the surgery can be delayed for a minimum of three months without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient as determined by the guidelines developed by the hospital, surgical center or other treating medical facility.”

In addition to the new mandate, Polis also announced that the Division of Insurance and Connect for Health Colorado were working under an emergency regulation to open a special enrollment period for uninsured Coloradans to get health insurance. This applies to people who are currently uninsured, who will be able to enroll in individual insurance coverage as will their spouses and children. This is not a re-enrollment period, it is a special open enrollment period for people who do not have insurance right now. The open enrollment window will be open from March 20 through April 3. You can find information on that here.

How will these new closures and restrictions affect you? Share with us in the comments, and as always, be safe, Colorado.