DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Mayor Michael Hancock gave an update on the coronavirus stay-at-home order on Monday morning. He said that Denver’s order may be extended past its initial end date of April 30, and that whenever the stay-at-home order is lifted, many restrictions will remain in effect.
“This is a critical week for Denver and the metro area as we loosen our orders,” said Hancock. “We are working on several different scenarios.”READ MORE: FBI Denver Believes Gabby Petito's Body Has Been Found In Wyoming
Hancock gave an update on how many coronavirus cases are in Denver as of Monday morning: “Nearly 100 people in Denver have died from this insidious virus.”
There have been about 715 positive COVID-19 cases in Denver. Hancock said that the hospitals in Denver have been doing a great job of keeping up with the demand, with about 70% of hospital beds available and two-thirds of ventilators available.
“Public health directors will be working to determine whether the health care data supports a relaxation to the stay-at-home orders,” said Hancock.
He also thanked Denver residents for abiding by the stay-at-home order and for continuing to be flexible.
Hancock also gave a glimpse into what the next several months will look like, “This will be a different summer for those of us here in Denver.”
The social distancing order in Denver is set to expire on May 11, but that may not happen. Hancock said that he is working with public health officials on updating and extending the public health order restricting large gatherings in the city and that residents can “expect that these orders will remain in place for the foreseeable future.”
He urged people to get outside while maintaining social distancing, avoiding groups and large gatherings, and not sharing any recreational equipment like Frisbees or footballs.
Hancock also said that he is taking economic recovery very seriously and that he is talking to restaurants about reopening for business. They are discussing guidelines for reopening and that not all restaurants will be able to reopen on a gradual timeline. He said that some restaurants won’t reopen right away because it won’t make financial sense unless they can have at least 70-80% occupancy.
All city-owned golf courses will be reopened on Wednesday with restrictions.
As of Wednesday, all city-operated golf courses will reopen to the public, weather permitting and with strict requirements. Find more information at https://t.co/ooDt6dvTEBREAD MORE: Rollover Crash In Colorado Springs Kills Active Duty Air Force Airman
— City and County of Denver (@CityofDenver) April 20, 2020
In a tweet, the City of Denver states, “Get outside & get fresh air, but you need to stay at least 6 feet from others and do not gather or travel in groups.”
Hancock also announced the opening of the Denver Coliseum for the Women’s Auxiliary Shelter for those suffering from homelessness at 2:30 p.m. Monday. There will be room for 300 women and transgender women at the coliseum.
The coliseum will screen all women at the entrance for coronavirus. Those who must be quarantined will be provided shelter in what is being called a “respite room.”
He said that moving forward, the “biggest challenges are increasing testing as well as testing for antibodies and hiring employees for contact tracing.”
Right now, there are hundreds of people being tested in Denver every week for COVID-19 but that number needs to grow to up to 2,000 tests, according to Bob McDonald, Executive Director of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment.
McDonald also reminded residents to continue wearing masks because it is highly encouraged and also part of an executive order by Gov. Jared Polis for some essential workers.
When face coverings are combined with frequent hand washing and appropriate physical distancing, they help reduce the transmission of infections. pic.twitter.com/4wQxQCYqYM
— Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (@CDPHE) April 20, 2020MORE NEWS: 4 Large COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Opening This Week In Colorado