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Get the latest coronavirus updates, including information on closures and work the city is doing to limit the spread of the virus. | More Info

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Coronavirus FAQs


This page will be updated with answers to frequently asked questions that the City of Boulder receives.

What is the stay at home order?

On March 25, Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide stay at home order. It is in effect through April 11 and may be extended if deemed necessary. It requires residents in Boulder and all across Colorado to stay home as much as possible except for critical activities.

How do I learn more about the stay at home order?

How do I report a potential violation of the stay at home order?

  • To report a possible violation, contact the Boulder County Call Center at 720-776-0822. The Center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Staff will answer general questions and record reported violations of the stay-at-home order. The Colorado Attorney General is also taking reports about violations at [email protected].
  • To report a possible violation of the order online, please complete this form.

How many cases of COVID-19 are there currently?

The State of Colorado provides a daily update on the number of COVID-19 cases in the state and each county at  covid19.colorado.gov/data.

I am concerned that Boulder Community Hospital and the other hospitals in Boulder County will not have adequate beds, equipment, supplies, or staffing to handle an influx of ill patients. What is being done to address this?

Boulder Community Hospital is one of more than a half-dozen hospitals in Boulder County. While the cause of the illness is different, the symptoms and treatments are consistent with what the hospitals deal with on a regular basis for influenza and pneumonia, and their staffs are well-trained and experienced to deal with the current outbreak.

To be ready for an anticipated increase in critically-ill patients, elective care and surgeries at the hospitals have been postponed, and the hospitals and Boulder County Public Health are prepared to activate well-established service expansion plans and protocols, should additional space or care become necessary. The greatest need of our hospitals now is for residents to practice social distancing and, when necessary, self-quarantine, to slow the spread of the disease. If we do this, new cases coming in to the hospitals will present over a more lengthy period of time, allowing the hospitals to treat and discharge affected patients before new ones arrive. For more information about Boulder Community Hospital’s preparedness and advice, go to www.bch.org

Why don’t we use the former hospital building at Broadway and Alpine for patient overflow or quarantine?

The Boulder County Public Health Department has worked with local providers to secure alternate sites, should that become necessary due to COVID-19. However, the former Boulder Community Hospital site on Broadway is not a good option for patient overflow, or even quarantine.

While the building may appear from the outside much as it did when it operated as a hospital, internally the building has been deconstructed, with the removal of walls, plumbing, electrical systems, heating systems, sanitation facilities, medical lines, fire suppression systems, and food preparation facilities. There are many other buildings in the city and county that are suitable for immediate occupancy, should the need arise.

Some jurisdictions have announced that they will test most or all residents for coronavirus infection. Why isn’t Boulder doing this?

Boulder County Public Health has advised us that testing is not medically-indicated at this time for people who are not experiencing symptoms. For more information from Boulder County Public Health, go to  www.bouldercounty.org/departments/public-health.

What is Boulder doing to reduce the number of gatherings where transmission can occur?

The Boulder Police Department is seeking general compliance with the Stay at Home public health order put into effect by the State of Colorado, rather than enforcement. The intent of the public health order is to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), save lives and get our community back to our normal activities as soon as possible.  

Boulder police officers are not conducting traffic stops solely to ascertain why people are traveling. Officers are operating under the assumption that most violations will be unintentional, providing education rather than enforcement. The hope is that criminal enforcement of the public health order will not become necessary. 

Can the city abate my property taxes, or the taxes paid by my landlord which are passed on to me?

Property taxes are collected by the county and the due date of the property tax is governed by state law. Only the state can defer the due date. Taxes paid after the due date accrue an interest penalty. For more information about the payment of property taxes in Boulder County, go to www.bouldercounty.org/property-and-land/treasurer/taxes.

I need a city inspection for a construction project. Is this service still available from the city?

At this time, all inspection services for Development Services and Fire have been suspended as non-essential services during this emergency.  A building inspection is likely to expose city staff and the public to COVID-19. The only inspections that are currently being done are those for emergency work related to loss of use of or loss of utilities for existing occupied buildings. Answer provided by City Manager Jane Brautigam.

If I operate a business that collects sales taxes from customers, can I retain those tax receipts to help ease the adverse effects of business downturn, promising to pay them later?

No. The sales taxes you collected were paid by your customers, and you hold them in trust before turning them over to the city and state on the due dates. It is a violation of law for you to “borrow” or otherwise use sales taxes paid by your customers, no matter how good you may believe the reason to be. There are other sources of loans to small businesses affected by the current crisis. For more information about remittance of sales and use taxes, go to bouldercolorado.gov/tax-license/sales-and-use-tax.

Will charitable community partners and other organizations still provide services to help with basic needs?

The City of Boulder is carefully tracking the needs of our community members relating to impacts from the COVID-19 coronavirus. This work is occurring in close coordination with Boulder County and the many community partners that provide services meeting the basic needs of the community. The link below is a summary of programs provided by the City of Boulder, Boulder County and key community partner agencies. 

Note that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department has determined that the use of COVID-19 public resources will not be counted against immigrants who are subject to “public charge” grounds of inadmissibility when applying for Green Cards. 

How can I find assistance with food and grocery items? 

Depending on your needs, there are a variety of programs that are available to Boulder residents. View options from food pantries, prepared meal delivery, food vouchers and shopping services in the links below.  

How do I find out if I qualify for SNAP (food stamps) or find a food bank? 

Find a list of food banks, food pantries, food programs and organizations that can help you to evaluate and qualify for assistance programs at the links below. 

Are medical offices open where I can see a Doctor, Dentist or Mental Health professional? 

Medial offices are open, but you should call first. Some may be limiting the types of appointments they are scheduling. If you are feeling sick you should first call your doctor. If you do not have a regular care provider but you need physical, dental or mental health care, please click the links below for local providers.  

I still have to work, but I can’t find childcare. Are there any places still open? 

There are several programs available to address the affordability and availability of childcare through the City of Boulder, Boulder County and the State of Colorado. Click the link below for more information. 

How do I file a discrimination complaint related to COVID-19?

A person’s ethnicity, language or association with a country or region is not a risk factor for the coronavirus. Health officials have also emphasized that concern about COVID-19 is not a reason to deny care to a patient. Any discrimination incident that may be motivated by another person’s race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity is considered a Human Rights Violation. Follow these steps to file a discrimination complaint.

Who can I call if I am experiencing domestic violence and need help? 

Information on reporting suspected abuse or resources for those experiencing domestic violence can be found in the link below. Counseling and emergency housing are available but no walk-in services are available at this time. 

 Who should I call if I have witnessed or suspect child abuse? 

Emergency cases that are life-threatening should be reported to law enforcement by calling 911. Click the link below for more information on reporting suspected abuse or resources for those experiencing domestic violence. 

How can I help maintain the city’s essential systems?

Do not flush wet wipes or paper towels of any kind down the toilet. These items do not break down and can clog pipes, damage pumps and block sewer lines. Keeping these items out of the wastewater system will help to prevent disruptions to the city’s wastewater systems, costly equipment repairs and sewer overflows at homes or offices.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only toilet paper should be flushed to help ensure that toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our nation’s wastewater.

Are there changes to the city’s utility billing policy?

The city is committed to its core value of community safety and is proactively taking steps to keep the community safe. This commitment includes maintaining essential water services (for drinking, handwashing and wastewater) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members experiencing economic impacts related to COVID-19 should call 303-441-3260 or email [email protected] to discuss a plan for their utility bill payment. 

Will the city’s water services be affected by the situation?

The city’s drinking water supply and wastewater treatment services will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Utilities Department is actively working to ensure there will be no disruption to city water services.

Is City of Boulder drinking water safe to drink?

The city’s current, standard drinking water treatment methods assure a complete disinfection process, with no threat of drinking water becoming a source of the virus.

Is City of Boulder wastewater safe?

Our wastewater recovery process uses an ultraviolet light disinfection system to assure the destruction of viruses before water is returned to Boulder Creek.

Where can I learn more drinking water and wastewater treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s coronavirus information web page to learn more.

I am worried I won't be able to pay my bills. Where should I start looking for help?

The federal government offers a variety of programs to help in times of unemployment and crisis. Click on the link below for a list of programs.

Also consider that applying for healthcare and food benefits can help to reduce financial burdens.

What is the city doing to assist people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 global pandemic?

Over the past several weeks, city Housing and Human Services staff have worked with countywide partners to plan care and prevention for people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19. A two-phase plan has been developed and implemented.  

  • Phase I encompassed a reorganization of services to allow increased social separation within existing facilities and increased infection control. 

Phase I was implemented on March 16 and includes the movement of the Path to Home Navigation program to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (4869 Broadway) and Coordinated Entry services access to telephone only. 

BSH has been functioning below capacity limits in anticipation of a future inclusion of navigation services and there are adequate beds to house these functions. These changes allowed for Severe Weather Shelter (2691 30th Street) to be re-organized to space their 72 beds throughout the entire facility, significantly increasing social distancing and infection control. Severe Weather Shelter operations have been extended through April 30. 

  • Phase II involved the development of a separate shelter called the COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC) for clients that are symptomatic of COVID-19. This is not a medical treatment facility but a facility to allow time for individuals to recover. 

Phase II was implemented on March 20 with the opening of the COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC). At CRC, symptomatic or positive COVID-19 tested individuals can recover in a 24-hour facility that provides proper distanced space. Homeless shelters have begun daily screenings for clients and will be identifying individuals who require further care. The CRC is not a walk-up service, and individuals must be screened through an existing shelter program.  

Individuals needing any shelter service are strongly encouraged to contact Coordinated Entry at 303-579-4404.   

Where should people experiencing homelessness go during this emergency?

People should call  Coordinated Entry  at 303-579-4404 to discuss year-round programs and shelter options. Coordinated Entry is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Tuesdays, when it is open from noon to 4 p.m. Coordinated Entry services are currently located at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (4869 Broadway). People can only access Coordinated Entry by calling 303-579-4404.  

Severe Weather Shelter  (2691 30th Street) will be open nightly through April 30 and does not require screening through Coordinated Entry.  

People that have already been assessed and referred to a program should continue attending evening shelter at their assigned program location. Program staff will offer instructions to individuals if there are changes to program locations or procedures. 

Are shelters accepting clients who are ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19? 

All shelters are screening clients prior to entering one of the shelters. Clients that are shown to be symptomatic following screening are transferred to the COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC) where they can be monitored and given adequate time to rest and recover. This is not a medical facility, but clients will be monitored by clinicians, staff and volunteers. Those that need medical attention will be transferred to a hospital. This shelter is not a walk-up service and requires screening at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Severe Weather Shelter, HOPE in Longmont or referral from a hospital or clinic before entry.    

Will Shelter and Navigation Services remain open?

Yes, Path to Home Navigation and Housing Focused Shelter are both currently located at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (4869 Broadway).  

Coordinated Entry services will continue to be offered and can be access by telephone. Individuals that need shelter are strongly encouraged to contact Coordinated Entry at 303-579-4404 to be assessed over the phone.  

Severe Weather Shelter  (2691 30th Street) will continue to be offered through April 30. Severe Weather Shelter will be offered every night, regardless of temperature. There is a strict 72-person limit for Severe Weather Shelter. 

If public buildings are closed, where will unsheltered persons go to get warm in cold weather?

Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (4869 Broadway) and Severe Weather Shelter (2691 30th Street) are currently open nightly. In addition, limited restroom, hand washing and shower access will be provided at Severe Weather Shelter from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mon.-Fri. Access to this day service is controlled, and all persons using these services will be health-screened prior to entry. 

What health and safety guidelines are being implemented at shelter and group meal locations?

Boulder shelters have implemented Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measures at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (4869 Broadway), Severe Weather Shelter (2691 30th Street) and the COVID-19 Recovery Center. 

Will shelter programs still require six months of Boulder County residency?

Diversion Services, available through Coordinated Entry, and Severe Weather Shelter (2691 30th Street) are available to people who have been in the community for less than six months. 

Year-round programs, including Housing Focused Shelter and Path to Home Navigation, are available to people who have been in Boulder County for more than six months.  

Where can I find help paying my rent or my mortgage? 

First, contact your landlord or mortgage company to inquire about available options, including a payment plan, temporary rent reduction, early termination of the lease, substitute services for rent or other solutions. Document any agreement in writing.

Currently, there is one local organization that provides payment assistance. Click the links below for more information.

Additional resources may be available through Boulder County.

I may be facing an eviction or foreclosure very soon. Are these on hold during the pandemic?  

The State of Colorado has announced a freeze on certain legal actions related to housing and local courts are not hearing most of these cases. 

The City of Boulder also offers mediation for landlords and tenants. For more information, click the links below. 

Can the city abate my property taxes, or the taxes paid by my landlord which are passed on to me? 

Property taxes are collected by the county and the due date of the property tax is governed by state law. Only the state can defer the due date. Taxes paid after the due date accrue an interest penalty. For more information about the payment of property taxes in Boulder County, go to   www.bouldercounty.org/property-and-land/treasurer/taxes  . 

I need a city inspection for a construction project. Is this service still available from the city? 

At this time, all inspection services for Development Services and Fire have been suspended as non-essential services during this emergency.  A building inspection is likely to expose city staff and the public to COVID-19. The only inspections that are currently being done are those for emergency work related to loss of use of or loss of utilities for existing occupied buildings.

If I operate a business that collects sales taxes from customers, can I retain those tax receipts to help ease the adverse effects of business downturn, promising to pay them later? 

No. The sales taxes you collected were paid by your customers and you hold them in trust before turning them over to the city and state on the due dates. It is a violation of law for you to “borrow” or otherwise use sales taxes paid by your customers, no matter how good you may believe the reason to be. There are other sources of loans to small businesses affected by the current crisis. For more information about remittance of sales and use taxes, go to   bouldercolorado.gov/tax-license/sales-and-use-tax.

How can I volunteer to help my community during the public health crisis?

Most volunteer needs and requests are being funneled through the State of Colorado’s Help Colorado Now  website at this time, due to the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado. The website has information for individuals looking to volunteer and organizations in need of volunteers.

In Boulder, the COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC) is seeking volunteers to assist with various duties. A team from the City of Boulder, the City of Longmont, and Boulder County initiated the CRC to house individuals amid COVID-19 concerns. This plan includes housing vulnerable individuals who show symptoms of the virus or have tested positive and are currently experiencing homelessness. The response team works under the direction of the Emergency Operations Center for Boulder County. Please read the full details on the iniative to find out more and sign up. NOTE: The stay at home order will not impact volunteering. Individuals will receive an Authorization to Work when they volunteer.

Are staff and volunteers at the COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC) directly exposed and should they isolate?

Boulder County Public Health does not consider those working at the CRC to have had exposure that requires isolation. Staff and volunteers are being trained to properly use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves and masks, which helps prevent exposure. Staff and volunteers are also required to wash their hands frequently. Additionally, sick clients will be following PPE requirements, wearing masks and washing hands frequently. Staff and volunteers are self-monitoring for symptoms daily and will not report to work if they are feeling ill.