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Public Health Order Announced: City & County of Denver Closes Venues

Denver, CO – With the announcement by Mayor Michael B. Hancock of a pending Public Health Order today, the City & County of Denver has canceled public events at certain venues owned and operated by the city beginning today, until April 12. These venues include Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre and Visitor Center, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Denver Coliseum, McNichols Civic Center Building, and the Colorado Convention Center. Libraries and recreation centers will also be closed beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice.

The Public Health Order follows Denver’s announcement of an emergency declaration yesterday. The declaration order signed by the Mayor on March 12 was made to engage additional emergency resources available to assist in Denver’s emergency response and gives the city greater flexibility to procure needed resources.

Today's escalation marks the second such public health order in Denver’s history, with the first made in response to the influenza pandemic in October 1918. That order was in effect for 53 days.

The Denver Police Department (DPD) is implementing a modified report-taking process to help prevent the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. DPD will begin taking some reports and statements via phone call instead of dispatching officers to gather information in-person. This change will not impact the dispatching of officers to high-priority, emergency incidents.

For example, if a resident calls Denver Police to report a property crime that previously occurred, a suspect is no longer present and there is no imminent threat to personal safety, an officer can call the person reporting the crime to obtain the necessary information to create a police report. The officer will then determine if additional investigative and/or evidence collection resources are required.

To be clear, the Denver Police Department still encourages residents to call 9-1-1 to report an emergency or 720-913-2000 to report a non-emergency situation. Denver’s Emergency Communications center personnel and DPD personnel will then work together to identify calls where an officers’ presence is not required to complete a report.

“It’s out of an abundance of caution that we are implementing this process, which will allow the Department to continue providing high-quality service and thorough investigations while helping to minimize the potential spread of the virus,” said Denver Chief of Police Paul Pazen.

The Department also encourages residents to utilize its online crime reporting tool when possible to help further reduce person-to-person interactions. This tool is an option for reporting crimes such as theft, vandalism, lost property, identity theft and more, and can be accessed by visiting www.denvergov.org/police and clicking the “Report Crime Now” button on the right side of the homepage.

DPD is implementing this report-taking process immediately on a small scale and will utilize the process for as long as necessary.

Denver Fire Department and other first responders will be staging at the scene of an incident before entering a facility, if symptoms of COVID-19 are believed to be present based on enhanced 9-1-1 screening questions.

Denver District Court is currently engaging in COVID-19 prevention and risk mitigation planning with our state and local partners, and is committed to making every effort to protect our jurors and the public which we serve while also maintaining business operations to the fullest extent possible. Denver District Court is proactively rescheduling matters that allow for flexibility in appearance, while also seeking alternatives to include options such as telephone appearances whenever possible.

The Denver Jury Office is implementing modifications to limit the number of individuals in jury assembly rooms, and remain in compliance with the public health orders which have been recently issued by Mayor Michael Hancock. Additional information and updates to court operations can be accessed via the Colorado Judicial Branch website.

Transactions with city government that can be conducted online include electronic payments, court orders and parking tickets. Instructions are posted at www.denvergov.org.

A continuous update on Denver’s response to COVID-19, including protection and prevention, is available on the city website.

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For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management at (720) 865-7600 or via web at Denvergov.org/OEM. For breaking news follows us on Twitter @DenverOEM. For additional information on preparing for any emergency, please refer to Ready.gov.

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