April 16, 2020

We’re here to help you, retailers

National Arts and Humanities Month

In response to concerns you raised with us, we convened a group of stakeholders to clarify that retail businesses may fulfill customer orders made online or by phone through curbside pickup or delivery. Thanks to El Paso County Public Health, the Downtown Partnership, and city and county staff, who partnered with us to swiftly ensure our retailers, who’ve worked hard to create safe shopping experiences, can protect their livelihoods and compete with online and big-box retailers who remain open.

The following guidance was provided by the COVID-19 Health Policy Group within El Paso County Public Health in regards to Public Health Order (PHO) 20-24:

Any business that does not meet the definition of a Critical Business in PHO 20-24 and is required to close down in-person work may continue to carry out Minimum Basic Operations. (See § II.C.) Minimum Basic Operations include “The minimum necessary activities to…continue filling online product orders and to process customer orders remotely.” (See § III.E.)

The PHO is silent as to the methods that may be used to fill online product orders, for example, whether such orders must be shipped or whether they can be picked up at the business site. Provided that Social Distancing Requirements are met and that the business uses all reasonable methods to protect its employees and its customers to the maximum extent, it is a reasonable interpretation of PHO 20-24 to allow the fulfillment of online or phone orders through shipping, curbside pick-up, or delivery.

Please note: this direction is not a special allowance, nor is it a change to the current PHO.