The Jefferson County Department of Public Health became the latest in metro Denver to issue a stay-at-home order, effective from 8 a.m. Thursday, March 26, through April 17. 

The order follows those from the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties; as well as Broomfield and Boulder counties. All issued stay-at-home orders in the past 24 hours.

While Broomfield's order "encourages" people to stay home, it also says failure to do so constitutes "an imminent threat to public health."

Shortly after the announcement became public, state Sen. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, called on Gov. Jared Polis to issue a statewide "guidance" on stay-at home. 

"It is time, @GovofCO, to issue a statewide guidance. Counties like mine who want it, need it. More importantly, citizens in counties run by officials who are taking cues from the Trump White House are in danger. Only you can break through the noise," she tweeted.

“The virus is easily spread through person-to-person contact, and the risk of transmission is much greater when people are in close proximity,” said Dr. Mark B. Johnson, Jefferson County Public Health executive director, in a March 24 statement. “This order will help protect everyone in our community by ensuring social distancing measures are followed. By taking this action now, we can start to flatten the pandemic curve.”

Under the order, in-person public or private gatherings of any size with people outside of your residence are prohibited, as is traveling except to get or provide essential services or medical care, and carpooling with anyone who doesn't live with you.

The order also allows only those who provide essential products or services at an essential business (health care operations, infrastructure operations and maintenance, certain government functions) to go to work. 

As of March 24, Jefferson County has 73 cases of COVID-19, the fifth highest in the state.  Jefferson County is the fourth largest in the state, with a population of 570,000 people. 

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