Friday, May 8, 2020, is officially the last day of Denver’s stay-at-home order. After extending it on April 24, past its original April 30 deadline, Mayor Michael Hancock explained today in a press conference his plans to re-open the city.
Overall, the approach largely defaults to Colorado’s larger safer-at-home strategy but there are a few differences and clarifications provided by the city today. Read on for what you need to know.
Don’t live in Denver? Have questions about your local government’s rules? Go here to find your local public health agency.
- The last day of the stay-at-home order is May 8 and it officially ends May 9 at 12 a.m.
- The city plans to re-open in part because hospital admission rates have lowered and there’s an increase in hospital beds and ventilator capacities with 395 hospital beds and 337 ventilators available as of today in Denver. For comparison, there have been 205 deaths in Denver so far due to COVID-19.
For the General Public
- Starting Wednesday, May 6 face coverings (aka masks) are mandatory for most situations until further notice. Go here for a breakdown of specifics for that order.
- Public and private gatherings of more than 10 people will continue to be prohibited through May 26
- Playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts will remain closed
- At-risk populations should still keep contact at a minimum
- K-12 schools remain closed for the school year but higher education campuses can re-open if they follow these guidelines
- Restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment venues, stadiums, movie theaters, libraries, gyms and spas will remain closed until further notice.
- Malls, with the exception of those with exits and entrances to the outdoors for each store, are also to remain closed.
- Eligible businesses can re-open on Saturday, May 9.
- Offices and retail can re-open at a 50% capacity with social distancing, frequent disinfecting, symptom and temperature checks in place and more.
- If applicable, your business should also implement special hours for vulnerable populations
- Personal services such as nail and hair salons, tattoo parlors, pet groomers and personal trainers as well as healthcare services such as eye doctors, chiropractors and dentists — can re-open with either less than 10 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is smaller.
- No walk-ins, appointments only.
- Real estate showings and other “field services” are also allowed to re-open, as long as they follow these guidelines.
- For general guidelines for businesses in Denver, go here. For industry-specific guidelines from the state, go here.
- Currently, the city is testing about 1,000 people a day but Denver has the capacity to do more.
- They hope to increase that by running a marketing campaign and implementing mobile testing through their “Wellness Winnie” for those that cannot get to testing sites. People still need a doctor’s referral to get a test though but the city hopes that is lifted so that “anyone who needs a test can get a test,” according to Hancock.
- You can call 3-1-1 to get qualified for mobile testing and it is free.
- Denver Police Department has a “compassion cruiser” handing out PPE to neighborhoods in underserved communities including masks and hand sanitizers
- Mayor Hancock explained that the city has lost $180 million in revenue and therefore has created a Denver Economic Relief and Recovery Council to support the cities recovery efforts with input from various industries.
- Hancock has also called on Colorado’s congressional members to ask Congress to include direct funding for cities and states in the next stimulus bill.
- Additionally, the city hosted a webinar to answer more specific questions and layout more information on how it hopes to rebuild. Go here to watch it.