DENVER (CBS4) —  Denver’s stay-at-home order expires after Friday, but experts will be monitoring the situation closely to determine whether changes need to be made to protect the public. In a news conference on Tuesday, Bob McDonald, the director of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, outlined the metrics that scientists and medical professionals will be looking at to determine if additional restrictions should be put into effect.

McDonald said experts will closely track more than a dozen sets of data, but there is one major indicator they’re looking for.

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“As you start to ease up on some of the restrictions, you monitor data very closely every day. If we see cases going up, spiking five days in a row, just generally speaking, that’s an alarm for us,” McDonald stated Tuesday.

McDonald explained that it will take some time to see measurable effects of loosening the restrictions after the stay-at-home order expires.

“When you move from one phase to the next there’s perhaps that 30 day window there, because you will want to cover a 14-day incubation period,” McDonald explained. “So, in summary, a 5-day swing is going to be a cause for alarm — that those metrics start ticking up — and a 30-day window to try to make a decision on the next step.”

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The number of positive tests is important, but experts also have to consider the capacity of local medical facilities.

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“If cases increase as testing increases, we expect to see that,” McDonald said. “We look at hospital admissions — and are they still able to handle the case load within the medical setting?”

McDonald said they’ll be monitoring the metrics every day.

“If we see consistent increase in numbers, a significant increase in caseload, then we look at the other parameters, and then we make a decision about what we need to put back into place.”

“If the numbers still look good, we can ease up even more restrictions,” McDonald stated.

“Our hope, of course, is that we don’t have to turn back,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock stated Tuesday. “And, that if we have compliance, that people continue to do the things that we’ve all been talking about in terms of exercising physical social distancing, wearing a mask when in public, washing your hands, having sanitizer available readily available in the workplace or in your on your person. Those are the things necessary.”

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