On March 5, the state’s lab confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test result in Colorado. Since then, the number of confirmed cases in the state has climbed beyond 1,000, with at least 158 hospitalizations and 19 deaths as of late Wednesday.

The statewide stay-in-place order Gov. Jared Polis issued Wednesday ensures Colorado’s health care system can serve those who are sick.

"Coloradans are living through a global pandemic, and this decision was made to help save lives," Polis said in his announcement. "We will continue doing everything we can to get the resources Colorado needs to address COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Coloradans."

Unless you work for a critical business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home, Polis said. Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible. Although this order does not apply to critical business, social distancing is mandated for businesses that remain open.

What is the difference between the stay-in-place order and social distancing?

The stay-in-place order says Coloradans should take extreme steps to avoid contact with anybody outside their household and minimize contact in public places that could be contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, according to the governor’s office. Social distancing is an important first step in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that allows people to go about their daily activities while taking extra health and safety precautions.

What does the stay-in-place order do?

It makes critical businesses take all steps possible to comply with social distancing requirements. For individuals, it means you remain at home and leave only to engage in critical activities such as securing food, medical care and necessities for you, your family, a vulnerable person, pets and livestock. Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate until their symptoms cease or until they have a negative test result.

When does the order end?

The order is set to last through April 11, unless it’s rescinded or modified by another executive order.

What is open during the duration of the order?

Essential services, such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, police and stations, hospitals, clinics, garbage and sanitation services, public transportation and hotlines for public benefits. Drive-thru, takeout and delivery of groceries and meals are allowed. Dispensaries and liquor stores are also open. State parks are open for walking, hiking, biking, running, and similar outdoor activities — but all playgrounds and picnic areas are closed. Social distancing should be practiced at any of these places.

What are considered "critical" industries?

Critical industries are: hospitals, clinics, and walk-in health care facilities; medical and dental care providers; research and laboratory services; medical wholesale and distribution; home health care companies, workers and aides; pharmacies and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; behavioral health care providers; veterinary care and livestock services; nursing homes, residential health care, or congregate care facilities; and medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers.

Critical services and infrastructure are: energy utilities, fuel supply and transmission; oil and gas production field operations; public water and wastewater; telecommunications and data centers; transportation and infrastructure necessary to support authorized businesses; hotels, and places of accommodation; businesses and organizations that provide social services; food and plant cultivation; food and beverage manufacturing agents; farm and produce stands; gas stations and convenience stores; restaurants and bars with takeout and delivery service; firearms stores; hardware, farm supply, and building material stores; pet stores and gun stores; trash and recycling services; mail and shipping services; laundromats and dry-cleaning services; building cleaning and maintenance; child care services; auto supply and repair; warehouse and distribution centers; funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries; in-person pastoral services; animal shelters, animal rescues, zoological facilities and animal sanctuaries; newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and other media; financial, insurance, payroll, and accounting services; homeless shelters and food banks; construction services; defense, security and law enforcement services; and snow removal services.

Read the entire language of the executive order at: shorturl.at/evBQV.