City and County of Denver COVID-19 Recovery Update
Published on May 06, 2021
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today updated and extended Denver’s face-covering order while thanking residents for getting vaccinated and asking them to remain steadfast in the fight against COVID-19.
The city’s COVID-19 case and positivity rates have seen continued declines since mid-April as vaccination rates continue to increase. “There’s still a lot of work to be done and thousands more people to get vaccinated,” the Mayor said. “We’re winning, but the game isn’t over. It’s not time to declare victory.”
Sixty-three percent of Denver residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 45 percent of residents 16 and older have received two doses. Despite these positive strides, vaccine resistance and vaccine hesitancy, particularly in communities of color and among young adults, is a troubling trend across the country. Tied to President Biden’s goal of getting 70 percent of American adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4, the mayor issued his own challenge for Denver.
“Let’s show the country how it’s done by getting 60 percent of all Denver residents vaccinated with one dose by June 1, and 70 percent by July 1,” he said. The Food and Drug Administration’s upcoming potential authorization next week of the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds would also help with progress towards this goal. The mayor emphasized the need for residents to get their second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to ensure their own health as well as the health of their friends, family and community.
Mask Order Updates
On May 2, Gov. Jared Polis issued a revised Executive Order which allows the removal of face coverings in certain public indoor spaces and situations. Denver is issuing a revised Public Health Order, effective tomorrow, which will largely align with the state’s face covering order with a few exceptions.
Pursuant to the State order and guidance, masks will still be required in Denver in:
- Schools, childcare centers, indoor children’s camps, personal service facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and jails.
- Public indoor settings where 10 or more unvaccinated people, or people of unknown vaccination status, are present.
- Certain public-serving indoor spaces, such as grocery stores, large retail stores and local government buildings.
- Children in Denver ages three and older will still be required to wear masks indoors.
Following federal rules, face-coverings will still be required on public transportation such as trains, planes, buses and other road vehicles. Also pursuant to the State order, masks will not be required in:
- Indoor settings with nine or fewer people regardless of vaccination status, except for those settings listed above that still require masks.
- Controlled indoor settings, such as an office that does not serve the public or a private event, of 10 or more people where 80% of the individuals have shown proof of vaccination.
Support for People Experiencing Homelessness
Housing stability has continued to be a key focus for Denver as COVID-19 has increased community need, leaving thousands with reduced income and at higher risk for homelessness and housing instability. The city’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) has worked throughout the pandemic to keep people in their homes, provide temporary shelter and resolve homelessness for individuals and families.
A new summary report on HOST’s website(PDF, 715KB) outlines the work to support people experiencing homelessness. HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher said, “HOST is continuing to work with a multitude of public and private partners to promote housing stability, and to help ensure that episodes of homelessness are rare, brief, and one-time occurrences.”
To further these efforts, in the coming weeks DDPHE will be opening a new 46-bed crisis stabilization center. The center will provide two levels of care for people experiencing mental health turmoil. Later this summer HOST will open Denver’s newest shelter facility, an 82,000 square foot, leased facility with 450 beds at 4600 E. 48th Ave. The site will have space to meet social distancing requirements and will offer navigation services to connect individuals with resources to lead to housing stability. Funding from initiative 2B and other sources will allow the city to continue to support programs, policies and investments to meet the needs of the Denver community.