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December 9, 2022

Colorado Extends Its COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Declaration

On November 11, 2022, Colorado’s Governor issued an Executive Order extending the state’s COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration. The declaration which has been in place since March 2020 will now include “Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), influenza, and other respiratory illnesses.”

The Order does not create any new requirements when it comes to providing public health emergency leave but it does expand – beyond COVID-19 – the types of conditions used to take leave under the current public health emergency. Public health emergency leave may be requested under the following circumstances where an individual is:

  1. Needing to self-isolate due to a diagnosis, or symptoms, of the PHE communicable illness (e.g., COVID-19, RSV, influenza and other respiratory illnesses)
  2. Seeking diagnosis, treatment, or care of the illness, including preventive care like vaccination
  3. Exclude from work by a government health official, or an employer, due exposure to, or symptoms of, the illness (whether or not are actually diagnosed with the illness)
  4. Unable to work due to a health condition that may increase susceptibility to, or risk of, the illness or
  5. Caring for a child or other family member in category 1-3, or whose school, child care provider, or other care provider is unavailable, closed, or providing remote instruction due to the PHE.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinion #6 clarifies that an employee’s allotted sick time under the state’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act must be supplemented in connection with public health emergency leave at the time such leave is requested.

The requirement to provide public health emergency leave is ongoing and will continue until four weeks after all applicable federal or state public health emergencies have ended.

For additional guidance check out the CDLE’s website.