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Snitch, Snitch, Snitch: Life in the Age of COVID-19

Appropriate behavior along the South Boulder Creek Trail.
Appropriate behavior along the South Boulder Creek Trail.
Michael Roberts

As Colorado prepares to reopen for business today, April 27, certain counties want you to open up about potential monkey business.

Including at private residences.

The state is urging Colorado residents who suspect a violation of the ever-evolving orders to contact their local public health agency to report any concerns; county and municipality rules, which can be stricter than the state's (and currently are in most metro counties), trump the state's. "Residents may also file a report with the Attorney General’s Office at covid19@coag.gov if local law enforcement or a local public health agency is unresponsive," the AG notes.

But some local agencies seem more than ready to respond. Last week, Jefferson County posted a "Report a Violation of the Stay at Home Order" form that you could use to report violations of its stay-at-home order (now extended through May 8). Although Jeffco has since removed the form, the Jefferson County Republican Party had already captured a screenshot, now posted on its Facebook page, which shows that the form includes a spot to check for alleged violations at a "private residence."

The form for Boulder County, which has also extended its stay-at-home order through May 8, is still live, though, and like Jeffco, Boulder specifically mentions "private residences."

The Boulder form starts with this:

Share a Concern about the Stay at Home Order

Our health and safety depends on all persons and businesses following the Colorado Public Health Stay at Home Order.

If you are concerned that a business or person in Boulder County is violating the Stay at Home Order, please complete this form to share your observations with us.

If you are concerned that a violation is happening NOW at a SPECIFIC location, please call dispatch at 303-441-4444 to help us provide a timely response. This includes large gatherings/parties at private residences, commercial buildings, or public parks; organized field sports at parks; restaurants with patrons eating inside, or crowds at trailheads.

Our enforcement team will review information provided and determine if educational outreach or other enforcement action should be taken. Thank you for sharing your concerns with us.  

Below that advisory, you can share information regarding specific locations — airport, construction site, landscaping or "non critical business in operation," for example,— and there's a box to check for "social distancing at a critical business," with a line you can fill in with the specific name, since "we have limited ability to follow up without the business name." There's also an asterisk that points you to a description of the Colorado Open Records Act, which notes that the form you're about to submit could become a public record.

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But if you want to report violations at "a current gathering," no need to worry about creating an electronic trail: You can just contact the county call center at 720-776-0822.

Governor Jared Polis has been clear that reopening Colorado for business will only work if businesses stick to the proper social-distancing measures, and people take personal responsibility. "At the end of the day, we have a choice," he said at his April 22 press conference noting the start of safer-at-home rules on April 27. "You have a choice. It depends on your actions."

And how.

Update: This story has been updated with the screenshot from the Jefferson County Republican Party.

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