Coronavirus updates in Denver from March 17: news you can use and slices of life in these weird times

It’s like your Twitter feed right now but with fewer trolls and more news.

Saralyn Voltz bleaches toys in her preschool classroom at Carson Elementary, March 13, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Saralyn Voltz bleaches toys in her preschool classroom at Carson Elementary, March 13, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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If you, like us, feel like you’re drinking news out of a fire hose lately, we’re here to help. We’re going to maintain a liveblog about coronavirus in Denver. (Check out yesterday’s.)

But we promise it won’t be all serious.

This liveblog will carry important updates from city officials, but also snippets of things we’re seeing around town from a safe social distance of 6 feet. Think of this as your verified COVID-19 Denver Twitter feed, but with all facts, no trolls and info that’ll be useful, make you think, or put you at ease.

 

4:41 p.m. Ted and Emily are being very generous with hand sanitizer

Lucy Graca is a photographer in south Denver who has been sending us the loveliest things, like this photo of Ted and Emily, who are being very neighborly in south Denver. Lucy says she’s “Just walking around with my favorite camera … Six feet from everyone.”

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Lucy Graca

3:41 p.m. An old-timey tractor is driving around south Denver

-Courtesy of CPR transportation reporter Nathaniel Minor

3 p.m. Washington Park is full of people

We saw kids. We saw people who said they were “working from home.” We saw a lot of people running. We saw a lot of dogs. We saw geese. Seems pretty Denver out there.

Washington Park is full of people. March 17, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Washington Park is full of people. March 17, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

-Kevin J. Beaty

2:46 p.m. Neighbors are jumping into action to help neighbors

Kevin found two local examples of neighbors helping each other, and it’s the story you need to read right now.

2:32 p.m. Welp. Denver is still Denver.

I just got called — right now, literally during a press conference about COVID-19 — by a Denver-based real estate broker who has a client looking for side-by-side units in Denver. He asked about a place I don’t live anymore, then when I said I don’t live there anymore he asked me if I would be interested in buying any side-by-side units in Denver.

-Dave Burdick

2:30 p.m. No plans to shut Denver’s parks, though golf facilities are closing

There are no plans to shut down the city’s parks due to the new coronavirus outbreak, though the city’s parks department has stopped issuing permits and canceled permits it had issued over the next 30 days, according to parks and rec spokeswoman Cyndi Karvaski.

“Right now, it’s fine to go out into the parks,” Karvaski said, adding trails are fine as well. “We hope that people practice social distancing.”

The department is also not accepting new permit applications for the time being. Parks are closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Karvaski said the only likely way parks would be shut down is if Mayor Michael Hancock enacted a citywide curfew. According to the city’s emergency operations plan, Hancock is the only person with the authority to enact a curfew.

The city’s golf facilities will be closed indefinitely starting Wednesday. The city said in a release it’s doing this to reallocate resources to “more essential” city operations and promote safety. The city has banned gatherings of 50 or more people.

-Esteban L. Hernandez

1:46 p.m. MSU Denver confirms its first COVID-19 case

According to a statement from the school:

  • The employee was last on campus on March 11 and has been self-isolated at home since then.
  • We are working with the Health Center at Auraria and Denver Department of Public Health.
  • In anticipation of the increasing likelihood of a positive COVID-19 case on campus, we began our transition to remote learning the week of March 9.
  • The week of March 16, we executed a liberal remote-work policy and instructed employees except for critical personnel to be off campus by noon today, March 17. Since March 16 we have had no in-person on-campus classes. We have already been following public health guidance regarding additional cleaning and sanitation steps to prevent the further spread of the virus.

12:06 p.m. Look at this excellent example of “socially distanced partying”

Sent to us by reader Lucy Graca. The photo was taken yesterday at 6:30 p.m. on South Washington Street.

Socially distanced partying in the COVID-19 era.

Socially distanced partying in the COVID-19 era.

Lucy Graca

11:27 a.m. Apropos of nothing, here’s a very soothing Harry Styles Tiny Desk concert

This is getting me through today.

Are any local bands planning on live-streaming concerts? Let me know: ana@denverite.com

-Ana Campbell

11:23 a.m. Yes, Denver’s parking patrol is still giving out parking tickets

The Hancock administration is not exercising much leniency when it comes to parking illegally despite city and state guidance to work from home if possible. In Whittier, two Department of Transportation and Infrastructure parking attendants were circling around Manual middle and high school, which is closed, printing tickets for parking violations in 2-hour zones.

-David Sachs

Image from iOS (1)

9:45 a.m. Here’s one way you can help in Denver

The city is looking for volunteers to help prepare meals, distribute supplies and help keep shelter facilities clean. The call was put out Monday by Mayor Michael Hancock’s office, who said young residents who are showing no signs or symptoms of coronavirus can help out by partnering with Mile High United Way. Visit its website (links below) for more information.

For volunteers: https://unitedwaydenver.org/covid-relief/
For donations: https://secure.donationpay.org/milehighunitedway/HHSF.php

-Esteban Hernandez

8:52 a.m. An anti-hunger agency is putting out a call for volunteers

Metro Caring, which last year distributed food to more than 75,000 people from its fresh food pantry at 1100 E. 18th Ave. in City Park West, needs volunteers who are under 60 years old and aren’t at high risk, or who are over 60, healthy and have permission from a medical provider.

In a statement Tuesday, the non-profit said it had asked its current volunteers who are high risk — older adults or people who have a serious chronic medical condition like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease — to stay home. It needs volunteers who can work three or four shifts a week. Metro Caring also is seeking financial contributions, saying the need for food aid is increasing and that it also needs funding for such items as cleaning supplies and for increased personnel expenses because volunteers are having to stay home to be safe.

-Donna Bryson

8:45 a.m. Well, here’s traffic in Denver right now

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8:05 a.m. People are still getting outside

I saw lots of people out running and walking their dogs on my morning jog through Clayton.

One couple, the man on a hoverboard, the woman on foot, were escorting a girl of six or seven years old who was making wobbling but sure progress on her bike.

“Good idea — taking this time to learn something new!” I said to the woman, raising my voice a bit because of the safe distance between us.

She smiled and responded: “Otherwise, we’d go stir crazy.”

-Donna Bryson

6 a.m. Gov. Polis is mostly earning praise over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic

Writes the Post: “Policy leaders and politicians are largely giving Gov. Jared Polis high marks for his response to COVID-19 as the virus-borne disease continues its relentless march across Colorado, prompting long-term closures of businesses and cancellations of events that could have devastating impacts on workers’ livelihoods and abilities to support their families for months to come.”

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