COVID-19 Resources

Market Manager Call Recaps

These calls began in April 2020 as a resource for farmers market managers and other food systems affiliates to stay connected. As COVID-19 presented numerous challenges to markets across the state, creating a hub of networking and problem-solving became necessary. These calls go over a number of issues presented by managers from across the state. They are continuing throughout the end of the year, and into 2021. To sign up for email updates from CFMA, including call information, please type your email in at the top of this page.  Click here for a full list of the recaps.

Updates October 15, 2020

Market Protocols For When a Vendor Tests Positive 

These protocols have been shared from various states including Alaska, Minnesota, Washington, Pennsylvania and Utah. The document has been compiled by the Farmers Market Coalition.

September 24, 2020

State of Colorado released guidance for temporary structures as the weather turns colder in winter months. From

This information will help restaurants safely accommodate customers outdoors in the upcoming colder months using  temporary structures or pop-up structures.

Depending on the construction of these spaces, and the available ventilation, they will be considered an indoor or outdoor setting and must follow the appropriate capacity requirements. This document outlines the guidance restaurants must follow to provide a safe environment for their customers to eat in these temporary structures. These capacity allowances apply to both temporary/pop-up or permanent structures. View the full guidance here

April 30, 2020

Colorado Farmers Market Association Recommendations and Toolkit for Farmers Markets – COVID-19 

This toolkit was developed as a joint collaboration between public health and the Colorado Farmers Market Association as a living document to be used as a resource in working with local farmers market managers. This toolkit will be updated periodically as we all work through our changing landscape together.

Lists of PPE suppliers:
*   PPE Sourcing for Food and Ag Industry<>
*   Top 40 Industrial Distributors of PPE<>
*   PPE Sourcing for Non-Profits<>

Handwashing Stations:

DIY handwashing stations


March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Mitigation: Important Updates for Farmers Markets

Dear Colorado Farmers Market community,

As the spread of COVID-19 has become a reality in Colorado, market operators are developing communications, preparing contingency plans and, in some regions, beginning to modify operations. Some public health officials may require that markets close until the outbreak diminishes.

To help market operators adapt to this rapidly changing economic and public health situation, the Colorado Farmers Market Association has compiled information and recommendations from farmers markets, state associations, health departments and the Centers for Disease Control. We recommend keeping up to date on your community’s status through your local public health agency.

Recent updates: As of Friday, March 13th, Governor Polis “announced he was “issuing guidance” requiring cancellation of large public gatherings of over 250 people “unless they can successfully take steps” to limit contact between people to six feet.”” Colorado Public Radio story

Winter markets that are currently operating: please make sure to follow this guidance. Consider temporarily redesigning market locations to limit contact and still allow people to purchase from vendors.  If your market brings fewer than 250 people together, it is still critical to consider the guidelines below. Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties have prohibited gatherings and events of more than 50 people.


Stay Informed

Farmers market operators should consult their local health departments and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for current public health information pertinent to their community.  Regularly read the updates and recommendations available on their website and sign up for any alerts offered by local or county-level health officials. The CDC has issued interim guidance for large public gatherings with useful steps. Highlights include:


Market Operations

Markets in Colorado that are currently open for business should take precautions to minimize exposure risks to vendors and customers. Markets that anticipate opening in April, May and beyond, should implement practices to ensure a safe environment in which business can continue. Consider the following:

  • Do not allow vendors or others to offer demonstrations or food samples.
  • Reduce or suspend penalties for last-minute vendor cancellations.
  • Invite local health departments to attend market days to enhance vendor knowledge.
  • Require vendors to follow CDC guidelines for washing hands. Remind vendors not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Add additional hand washing facilities that include water, soap, and paper towels for vendors and customers. Have signs posted as a reminder.
  • Have extra supplies on hand including soap, hand sanitizers, and paper towels.
  • Discourage people who are sick from attending the market.
  • Require the use of disposable gloves for market staff who handle money, tokens, or vouchers, and remind staff about proper glove use and hand washing procedures.
  • Emphasize that vendors handling money, tokens or vouchers should not handle food products until they have washed their hands.
  • If a vendor is sick or has been exposed to or suspects they have been exposed to COVID-19, ask them not to attend the market.
  • For markets that are required to close, consider temporarily redesigning market locations to allow for pre-ordered items to be picked up at the usual market times or other alternative distribution methods.Communications with customers/media/the public
  • Provide customers with relevant, up-to-date information about what your market is doing to ensure their health and welfare at the market. Post signs with your precautions and procedures, and communicate this information on your website and through social media. For an example of how you might want to communicate to the public:
  • Emphasize that protecting public health is paramount to your market. Follow all rules and guidance from your public health department.


Communications with vendors

Remind vendors to clean and sanitize their supplies and equipment regularly.

For surfaces that will be in contact with food or food products (such as produce bins, coolers, boxes, tools), use detergents and sanitizing solutions that are food safe:

  1.  Clean the surface with a detergent (for example, Dawn dish detergent) and rinse thoroughly.
  2.  Use a sanitizer product that is approved for use on food contact surfaces, consult this list (
  3.  Follow the label instructions for the sanitizer you use when mixing, applying and storing it. Some   sanitizers require contact time on the surface to be effective, and others require a rinse step.
  4.  Allow the surface to air dry.


To clean and sanitize surfaces that will not come into contact with food or food products (such as chairs, tables, truck beds):

  1.     Clean the surface with a detergent (for example, Dawn dish detergent) and rinse thoroughly.
  2.     Use a product that the EPA has approved for use against viruses and other emerging pathogens:
  3.     Follow the label instructions for the sanitizer you use when mixing, applying and storing it. Some sanitizers require contact time on the surface to be effective, and others require a rinse step.
  4.     Allow the surface to air dry.
  •   Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and sanitizing surfaces
  • Communicate promptly about changes to market procedures. Consider setting up a phone or text tree to get information out as quickly as possible to all vendors.
  • Plan with vendors how the market will determine if it is appropriate to close and any alternative sales method that may be available. Share planned closure communication strategy and channels in advance.
  • Prepare vendors for the possibility of smaller crowds at market.
  • There will be a webinar hosted by CSU within two weeks with a crisis-management specialist focused on helping producers protect their businesses. We will send more information as soon as possible about the webinar.

Additional resources

CDC Link

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

FEMA Guidance for COVID – 19 Preparedness

Colorado Dept. of Public Health Recommendations to protect our communities

Please take good care of yourselves, your family and friends, and your communities as we all navigate this immense challenge together.


Two monthly e-news chocked full of information and resources

FUNDING STAFF If you are wanting to fund a market manager, consider increasing your vendor fees or find community partners willing to sponsor, e.g. tourist association, local government,  or neighborhood associations.  If you have more time, the Federal Grant program – FMPP – might have been an option or getting an AmeriCorps volunteer into the role – both take planning and administrative capacity.