A timeline of COVID-19 in Colorado. Since the pandemic began, Gov. Jared Polis has issued 190 “D” executive orders, with all but a handful related to the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these orders have been extended.
Feb. 1: First identified person in Colorado who would later test positive for the virus becomes symptomatic.
March 5: First announced case of COVID-19 in Colorado: an out-of-state visitor to Summit County, a man in his 30s. He was initially hospitalized in Summit County and later moved to a hospital in Lakewood. State data shows that seven cases were reported to the state on this day.
March 11: Gov. Jared Polis issues executive order that declares Colorado in a disaster emergency.
March 14: Executive order closing Colorado’s downhill ski resorts.
March 16: Public health order temporarily closing bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and casinos statewide in an effort to stymie the spread of the pandemic.
March 18: Executive order closing Colorado preschool-12 and charter schools to in-person learning, ordering online instruction.
March 19: Executive order canceling elective and nonessential surgery, to preserve hospital capacity to deal with COVID-19.
March 20: Executive order limiting evictions, foreclosures and suspending public utility shutoffs.
March 22: Executive order requiring people to work from home whenever possible, limiting nonessential businesses to 50% of their workforce working in-person.
By March 24: Thirteen Colorado counties had already implemented their own Stay At Home orders, including Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Eagle, Gunnison, Jefferson and La Plata counties.
March 25: Stay at Home order, requiring all Coloradans who are not employed in critical businesses to stay home. Expired April 26.
March 28: President Trump declares Colorado a major disaster area, at the governor’s request. The New York Post reported that two Colorado counties, Gunnison and Eagle, were among the top four counties in the nation with confirmed COVID cases outside of New York and Louisiana. Gunnison reported 454 cases per 100,000; Eagle reported 331 per 100,000.
April 1: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports 3,342 cases of COVID-19 and 80 deaths.
April 17: Executive order requiring workers in critical businesses and governments to wear face coverings.
April 26: Safer at Home order, requiring schools to remain closed to in-person learning throughout the end of the 2019-20 school year; lifting the Stay At Home order, although recommending vulnerable individuals continue to stay home and advising all Coloradans to begin wearing masks (although not an order to do so).
April 30: Governor informs the General Assembly that the state has insufficient revenues to meet obligations; orders spending reductions in remainder of 2020 fiscal year.
May 1: CDPHE reports 15,768 confirmed cases and 820 deaths.
May 15: Two executive orders pertaining to elections: the first, suspending regulations on in-person signature collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates; the second suspending regulations for in-person signatures for ballot measures. It was overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court on July 1.
May 18: Executive order directing the spending of funds provided to the state under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. This led to complaints by Republican lawmakers that the spending decisions should have been handled by the General Assembly.
May 25: Executive order amending Safer at Home to allow restaurants to reopen under limited capacity.
May 26: General Assembly returns after a 73-day hiatus to pass the 2020-21 budget, with $3.3 billion in general fund cuts, and legislation to help the state deal with the pandemic. Despite a promise by Democratic leaders that the bills would be “fast, friendly and free,” some legislation, including on collective bargaining for state employees with a price tag of $6.5 million in 2021-22, was criticized as neither free nor related to COVID-19.
June 1: Executive order Safer At Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors, which, among its provisions, limited public gatherings to 10 people or fewer.
June 1: CDPHE reports 26,577 confirmed cases and 1,458 deaths. Throughout the month, the governor issues 32 executive orders, mostly extending the previous orders.
July 1: CDPHE reports 33,029 confirmed cases and 1,697 deaths.
July 9: Executive order Protect Our Neighbors, allowing local communities to reopen businesses if they meet certain metrics established by CDPHE and submit a mitigation plan when they fall short.
July 16: Governor issues mask mandate executive order, for everyone over 10 years of age and unless exempted for medical reasons. Extended on Aug. 14 and again on Sept. 12.
July 21: Last call executive order, requiring restaurants to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m.
Aug. 1: CDPHE reports 47,267 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,844 deaths. Polis continues to extend executive orders, although the last call order is revised to 11 p.m. on Aug. 22.
Sept. 18: The state has seen 63,145 cases of the virus diagnosed, with 7,327 hospitalized and 684 outbreaks, meaning two or more diagnoses at one site within two weeks. Total deaths due to COVID-19 were just shy of 2,000, at 1,911, and deaths among cases were at 2,006.
Reporter Erin Prater contributed to this report.