Erie trustees on Tuesday authorized Town Administrator Malcolm Fleming to implement a townwide stay-at-home order in response to the new coronavirus pandemic. The town-level order is needed since Erie falls in both Boulder and Weld counties. Boulder County on Wednesday issued a stay-at-home order, while there is no such directive in place for Weld County.
The motion was approved 5-2, with Trustees Dan Woog and Scott Charles opposing.
On Tuesday night, the board discussed Boulder County’s order, which was created in coordination with Jefferson County Public Health and Tri-County Health Department — which serves Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties — and takes effect 8 a.m. Thursday.
Fleming, who is acting as the town’s emergency manager, told the board if the town did not enact its own order, residents in Weld County would not be under the same constraints as those in Boulder County.
The Boulder County order requires people to stay at home — or shelter in place — except for certain defined essential activities, work and services. It will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. April 17.
Businesses can continue operations in which employees, contractors and volunteers work remotely or from home. Essential businesses are asked to remain open, but must comply with social distancing requirements of people maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, including employees and customers.
Essential businesses are encouraged to consider delivery, drive-thru and pickup options.
“We’ve gone through other pandemics before, and the stats might be slightly higher now, but ( the H1N1 epidemic in 2009) was extremely bad. I think this just sets a totally absurd precedent for the government to shut things down in the future,” Woog said in explaining his “no” vote for the measure. “I think we need to wait, and I trust the people of Erie. I think they’ve been doing a hell of a job at listening and watching the news and making smart decisions. I just don’t want to see this emergency declaration.”
Erie Police Chief Kim Stewart said a townwide order will help officers.
“It’s easier for us to enforce, as opposed to now we’re doing what the governor says, now we’re doing what Boulder County says,” Stewart said.
Trustees also unanimously approved extending the town’s local disaster emergency, which now lasts until April 30. The original declaration was made on March 14, and on March 20 was extended for seven days.
Erie facilities, including the Erie Community Center, are closed through March 29. Town Hall is open by appointment only.
For more information about closures and updates, visit bit.ly/3ajPigR.