City officials announced new restrictions recently to combat the dramatic increase of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, including an order prohibiting public and private gatherings of any number of people not from the same household between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) Executive Director Robert McDonald said the city will enact a “Home by 10” order, effective for 30 days starting Nov. 8, through Monday, Dec. 7. People should be home by 10 p.m., with certain exceptions, including going to and from work, interstate travel, and getting medical care. Thanksgiving Day will be exempt.
This is not intended to be a traditional curfew, but rather a restriction on gatherings, business hours, and a guidepost for behavior that will help Denver get through the next 30 days.
Any business not defined as critical must close to the public during Home by 10 hours. Critical businesses include, but are not limited to, hospitals, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
No alcohol sales or consumption after 10 p.m. will be permitted at any facility that sells alcohol, including restaurants and grocery and liquor stores. Restaurants will still be able to offer food takeout and delivery after 10 p.m.
Under the new order, groups at restaurants will now be limited to six people from no more than two households, down from 10 people, for the duration of the Home by 10 public health order.
Recreational athletic activities, including organized youth and adult league sports, practices, games, and tournaments, are prohibited. Spectators are prohibited at all post-secondary and Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) sanctioned sporting events.
The city is taking this action to help stem the increase in cases and hospitalizations and avoid another stay-at-home order being imposed on Denver by the State.
Denver has seen about 40 days of significant worsening of the virus. Over the last 13 days, the city’s case incidence numbers have actually hit the State’s most restrictive Stay at Home level. Hospitalizations have jumped more than 43% statewide, including in the metro area, in the past week.
“We need everyone working together to reverse this trend,” Mayor Hancock said. “Our case numbers continue to grow substantially each day. So, we must use every tool at our disposal to save lives. Home by 10 will help to hopefully keep us from having to go to a complete stay-at-home order.”
“This is bad. Hospitalizations are about to hit the April peak. Alarm bells are not only sounding but are blaring at the highest level. We, as a community, must act. We must abide by the public health orders, and limit gatherings for the next 30 days.”
Robert McDonald, DDPHE
Last month, the city enacted a tougher mask mandate. Facial coverings are now required in all outdoor settings, with exceptions for people by themselves or household members who can socially distance from others.
“This is bad,” McDonald said. “Hospitalizations are about to hit the April peak. Alarm bells are not only sounding but are blaring at the highest level. We, as a community, must act. We must abide by the public health orders, and limit gatherings for the next 30 days. That way, we can bring our numbers down and avoid the state forcing a Stay at Home situation, especially as we approach the holiday season.”
People who are sick or concerned they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested. The city’s community testing sites will help identify those who are sick, so they can isolate and not spread the virus. Denver has three static testing sites for the uninsured or underinsured. (Testing locations and times below). The city just debuted testing at Denver Human Services East at 3815 Steele St. this week. It is working on a plan to open a fourth. Also, as a reminder, if you have health insurance, please visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care facility and leave these free sites for those truly in need without other options for testing. The City of Denver has a list of private testing facilities on their website.
Paco Sanchez Park, 1290 Knox Ct, Denver, CO: Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (must be in line by 3:30 p.m.), Saturday & Sundays: 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (must be in line by 11:30 a.m.).
38th & Steele (DHS East): Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (must be in line by 3:30 p.m.)
Sundays: 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (must be in line by 11:30 a.m.). No Saturday testing at this location
Green Valley Ranch, 4455 Jebel St, Denver, CO 80249: Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (must be in line by 3:30 p.m.)
The city will also explore the use of Rapid PCR COVID-19 testing in certain settings, to better identify people who are infectious but asymptomatic. This test provides answers in 15 minutes.
With the community facing new restrictions, DDPHE will continue to closely partner with the Department of Safety to facilitate compliance.
So far, DDPHE enforcement teams have made 17,149 contacts for order violations, issued 222 citations, and closed 13 businesses, which have since reopened.
The Home by 10 hours will be temporarily suspended on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. However, those who are sick or at-risk should avoid gatherings with those outside their immediate household.
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