Denver’s Stay-At-Home Order Has Been Extended to May 8

Roughly 24 hours after Governor Jared Polis outlined his plan to end the state’s stay-at-home order, Mayor Michael Hancock has extended Denver’s order. Now set to last through May 8, Mayor Hancock provided details and updates in a press conference on April 24 at 10 a.m. This once again puts the city and state at odds on timing.

On Wednesday, April 22, with the multi-day rollout of Polis’ “Safer at Home” plan, it appeared that the two had finally synced up — as the majority of the new directive would not take place until after Denver was scheduled to end its order on April 30. But it seems the mayor has decided to part ways on the Governor’s decision, possibly due to the growing criticisms of opening states too early. However, during the press conference, Hancock stated this was not the case and the governor was a partner with whom he spoke to daily. “Colorado is very fortunate to have Jared Polis as our governor at this time,” explained Hancock.

Rather after reviewing “Denver-specific metrics of new infections, hospitalization rates and mortality,” Hancock believed it was not the right time for Denver to re-open. He explained his administration will use these extra weeks to increase the city’s testing capacity with the goal of 1,000 tests a day. 
“We need more time to scale up our testing and tracing capacity to provide our residents and businesses the kind of specific guidance they are asking for,” he explained. The exact information of new testing sites is still in the works but Hancock said the city is already close to testing about 750 cases a day. He believes with more time they will be able to hit 1,000 and aims to use hospitals such as Denver Health, as well as a diversity of sites, so people of all different walks of life will have access. Additionally, he hopes the extended order will help with the following.
  • Identify and cross-train staff to implement COVID-19 case management, including contact tracing and monitoring, complete case investigations and enforce isolation and quarantine orders
  • Secure additional and improved personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Increase and enhance communication between the city and businesses regarding guidelines and policies for reopening while maintaining best public health practices
  • Provide businesses the opportunity to prepare for reopening with strategies from the Department of Public Health & Environment as well as their own policies
Hancock said he will defer to the state’s exact guidelines for the May 8 re-opening, once provided by Polis. In the meantime, the mayor explained the foundation of his thinking will “err on the side of saving lives.”
For more information, go here to watch the full press conference or read the updated order here.

READ: What You Need to Know About the Lifting of Colorado’s Stay-at-Home Order

READ: Everything You Need to Know About Denver’s Stay-at-Home Order