CDPHE Public Health Recommendations

Helpful Documents

Slowing Community Spread SMC coronavirus poster

Creating distance between people slows the community spread of COVID-19. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will decrease the daily number of cases and hospitalizations that occur in Colorado. Fewer hospitalized cases at one time are needed to make sure our hospitals have the staff and equipment they need to take care of the sickest people.

We all have a role to play, and we’re all in this together. We urge Coloradans to exercise personal responsibility to protect public health.

Working together we can

  • Reduce the number of people who get COVID-19 before an effective treatment or vaccine is available.
  • Protect those most likely to experience severe symptoms, such as older people and those with serious chronic conditions.
  • Preserve and protect our health care system so they can continue to care for all people in the community.
  • Minimize the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 over the long run. 

Populations at highest risk of severe illness

Everyone’s daily preventive actions are important in reducing spread to people who may experience more severe illness.

Individuals most at risk for getting very sick include:

  • Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80.
  • People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Older people with chronic medical conditions are at the greatest risk.

If you are at higher risk for serious illness, it is important for you to take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.

CDC: If You Are at Higher Risk

Current public health orders and recommendations 

Stay informed with reliable sources of information and share accurate information with neighbors, friends and co-workers, especially people who may have difficulty receiving or understanding the information.

Public Places

  • San Miguel County recommends wearing masks or face-coverings when in public. The Town of Telluride has enacted an emergency ordinance requiring the use of face coverings when inside businesses and when using public transportation. 
  • Restaurants, bars, gyms, performance and music venues, movie theaters, casinos, and many other businesses are closed for normal, public use. Delivery, pick-up, takeout and drive-thrus are OK!
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores and food pantries are not closed.
  • Pharmacies are not closed.
  • If you do go out, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly; cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use your inner elbow or sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid contact with others, keeping 6 feet between yourself and others. 
  • Do not go out in public places if you are sick, even with mild symptoms. 
  • Many playgrounds are being closed to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Check with your city, recreation district or school district before heading out. 


  • Social gatherings of 10 or more people must be canceled or postponed.


  • All public and private school BUILDINGS are currently closed. Schools have pivoted to remote learning for the time being.

Health facilities

  • Nursing, assisted living and intermediate care facilities are closed to non-essential people. Call your facility to learn how you can stay in touch with your loved ones. 

When possible, keep 6 feet between you and others when you are out. 6 feet is about the length of skis.

Everyday actions to prevent disease spread

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Regularly clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.

Personal social distancing

Healthy people play a critical role in limiting spread

Practicing social distancing isn’t necessarily about protecting yourself;  it’s about protecting the most vulnerable people in our community. We all need to champion social distancing and other healthy behaviors where we live, work, and play.

If you get sick or are around someone who is sick, follow instructions on self-isolation and self-quarantine.

It is important to call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room to prevent the spread of illness. Tell them your symptoms and that you suspect you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had recent travel to a place that is experiencing community spread.

Practice kindness and acknowledge we’re all sacrificing 

COVID-19 is causing a lot of disruption in our lives. Events and celebrations we have been planning for months are canceled, and things that we care about are being put on hold. It’s OK to be sad or frustrated, but there are things we can all do to help ourselves and our neighbors through this trying time.

Social connection is important to our individual and collective well-being.  Distancing our bodies doesn’t mean we have to be distanced at heart. 

  • Check-in with your friends and family by phone.
  • Make a plan with your neighborhood or faith group, by which people can signal they need support.
  • Enjoy a book you have been waiting to read. Invite others to read it and discuss it on social media (maybe others will join!).
  • Create a group who can go shopping for people at higher risk for serious illness.
  • Schedule a time for everyone to watch the same movie or TV show at their own homes.
  • Connect with nature: Go outside to enjoy a walk with your dog.  Go on a family bike ride or hike. Work in your garden.
  • Order food for takeout or curbside pick-up.

Know you can always talk to someone

  • Colorado Crisis Services offers free, confidential, professional, 24/7 support at 1-844-493-8255; Text “TALK” to 38255
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline offers help and support for any distress you or someone you care about may be feeling related to a disaster. 
    • Call 1-800-985-5990 
    • Text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746 
    • TTY for Deaf / Hard of Hearing: 1-800-846-8517 
    • Spanish-speakers: Text “Hablanos” to 66746

Social Distancing graphic