Denver Mayor Michael Hancock will not extend his stay-at-home order past Friday and instead will slowly begin to relax restrictions that have been in place for well over a month, city officials confirm.
Initially, Hancock’s stay-at-home order was set to expire at the end of April, but he extended it through Friday, saying city officials needed more time to figure out how Denverites can safely leave their homes and how a new set of rules could be enforced.
The new order will not be extended again, Hancock spokesperson Mike Strott said Monday. Face masks will be required in public places beginning Wednesday, but other details about what the next phase will look have not yet been provided.
Certainly, the rules will relax slowly. Hancock has said repeatedly that allowing everyone to rush out of their homes and into stores or other crowded locations at once could be dangerous. The ultimate goal is to avoid another spike in coronavirus cases which might cause city officials to order everyone inside again.
In a best-case scenario, city officials predicted that most restrictions could be relaxed over a 2- to 4-month period.
The requirement to wear face masks, which will continue indefinitely, carries a $999 fine for violators.
Aspen, Boulder, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Wheat Ridge and Larimer, Routt and Summit counties have issued similar orders.
Social gatherings of 10 or more people will likely still be prohibited at first. And social distancing measures will likely remain for a while.
Other counties and cities in the metro area appear likely to follow Hancock’s lead since all except Douglas County extended their stay-at-home orders to closely match Denver’s. A representative for the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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