New state guidelines allow pools, short-term rentals to resume operations

  • COVID-19, courtesy Centers for Disease Control
    COVID-19, courtesy Centers for Disease Control

Swimming pools and playgrounds will be allowed to open, with limited capacity, according to the state’s latest orders loosening restrictions on public activities in the time of COVID-19.

In the newest executive order, called the “Safer and Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors,” Gov. Jared Polis announced the transition this afternoon. Under this new order, which lasts until July 1, playgrounds can reopen with limits – up to 10 people at a time – and pools can also reopen – with up to 50 percent of their capacity or up to 50 people, whichever is less.

Short-term rentals will also be allowed to reopen, starting today, with specific guidelines in place from the state. Those guidelines include specific protocols for cleaning and disinfecting rentals, including a recommendation to wait 24 hours before entering a property to clean it after a guest checks out and to avoid scheduling back-to-back stays.

There are also recommendations to launder all shared fabric items between guests, providing hand sanitizer and other disinfecting products for guests to use, and also provide “generous and flexible” cancellation policies to allow guests to cancel reservations if they experience symptoms. Guests are also required to cancel their stays if they have experienced symptoms in the past 14 days or if someone they’ve been in close contact with has developed symptoms recently.  The state is also asking managers and owners to notify guests that mask-wearing is “standard” in Colorado and to consider providing cloth face coverings for them to wear.

The state health department also released draft rules for other previously restricted activities to resume soon, including churches, personal and outdoor recreation, and updates to childcare businesses and personal services.

Comments are due on these draft rules by Wednesday at noon.

The newest orders also say those who are considered “vulnerable” should still stay at home or away from others as much as possible. Health officials are encouraging those who are older, pregnant, with chronic health issues, or determined to be high-risk by healthcare providers to continue to distance themselves from others.

One rule that has remained in place during various iterations of the state's orders remains in place – the 10-person limitation on mass gatherings. Though other orders have allowed activities to resume, including one allowing children's sports camps to begin with a limit of 25 participants, this rule remains in place across Colorado.

Editor's note: This is a developing story and the Plaindealer will be writing more about these new orders as we learn more this week.