Mayor Michael Hancock closes public venues in Denver due to coronavirus

Libraries and rec centers will be closed starting Monday

The Colorado Convention Center seen from atop the Le Meridien Hotel on California Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Colorado Convention Center seen from atop the Le Meridien Hotel on California Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Mayor Michael Hancock on Friday ordered all city-owned facilities, including Red Rocks, public libraries and rec centers, to cancel events in response to the novel coronavirus spread.

The order will last through April 12 to protect the public and mitigate the spread of COVID19. Beginning Monday, libraries and rec centers will be closed indefinitely.

“During this evolving public health situation, the health and well being of everyone in our community again is our number one priority,” Hancock said.

Venues closed also include theaters in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Denver Coliseum, the McNichols Building, the Civic Center Building and the Colorado Convention Center.

Denver courts are also monitoring the spread, Hancock said. For privately-owned venues, like the Pepsi Center, which hosted a Post Malone concert on Thursday night, Hancock mentioned Gov. Jared Poliss’ guidance not to allow gatherings of more than 250 people.

“It is my hope that the private owners and operators and promoters follow the strong lead of the public sector to cancel, Hancock said.

Denver Police is modifying its report-taking process to help limit person-to-person contact. The department is encouraging people to use its online crime report system and will be taking some reports over the phone instead of dispatching officers to get more info. Officers will still be sent to emergency or high-priority incidents.

Hancock said venues like the Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens will be issuing their own closure protocols.

The order public health order issued Friday is only the second such order in the city’s history. The first was in response to the influenza pandemic in October 1918. It lasted 53 days, according to the city.

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