Today, November 6 at 11:30 a.m., Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced a new public health order via a press conference. Dubbed “Home By 10,” the order aims to get people to be in their own homes by 10 p.m. as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19. It also prohibits unregulated public or private gatherings of people not from a single household. Some restrictions will be lifted for Thanksgiving, as detailed below.
Hancock was adamant that it is not a curfew, detailing that many individual activities like walking your dog, taking a run or going to and from work are still allowed after 10 p.m. Rather, the goal of the new issuance is to deter people from “co-mingling” situations.
This comes after hospitalization and case rates have sky-rocketed. In just the last week, hospitalizations have increased by 43% statewide and Denver’s two-week case rates have gone from 385 to now 573 since the city’s last restriction announcement on October 27. Additionally, a new report explains the “probability of encountering an infected person” in Colorado is higher than it was at any point since the start of the pandemic. It explains, in Denver, “the virus is spreading even faster at a rate of approximately 1 in 100 Coloradans.”
What Does The New Order Include?
- People need to be in their own homes between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., except for limited and essential purposes such as:
- going to and from work, going to the grocery store, traveling to the airport, going to get medical care, going the pharmacy, walking your dog or taking a walk or run around the block.
- The order goes into effect this Sunday at 10 p.m. and lasts the next 30 days until December 7 at 5 a.m.
- It will be temporarily suspended on Thursday, November 26, 2020, for Thanksgiving. Denver will revert to the Safer at Home level three order and up to 10 people from no more than two households can gather.
- All public and private gatherings of people in unregulated spaces, who are not members of a single household are not allowed
- i.e. unregulated spaces are places like parks and homes but not restaurants.
- Exceptions are made for individuals who live alone. They can gather with members of their immediate family.
- Under the new order, groups at restaurants will now be limited to six people from no more than two households. In the former order, it was 10 people.
- Non-critical businesses must be closed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Critical businesses include places like hospitals, grocery stores and pharmacies.
- Restaurants can still do take out and delivery orders after 10 p.m. for food only. Alcohol sales after 10 p.m. are not allowed.
- The city also recently clarified that event capacity and restrictions remain the same and indoor events are capped at no more than 25 people with outdoor events no more than 75.
- Spectators are not allowed at all non-professional sporting events. All other recreational sports activities, including organized recreation, are prohibited.
According to Bob McDonald, executive director of Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment, the order will be enforced using the general public health violation fine which includes a ticket to court, $999 potential fine and 300 days in jail. But according to him the fine and jail time “hasn’t occurred to date.”
“We know we can’t enforce our way out of this pandemic,” said Hancock. “This is not about enforcement, but about all of us recognizing we have a responsibility to not only our families but each other.”