Coronavirus updates in Denver: news you can use and slices of life in these strange times

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

Griff McClure's face mask has a smile drawn on it. Mental Health Center of Denver, April 3, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Griff McClure's face mask has a smile drawn on it. Mental Health Center of Denver, April 3, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

🚓 4:30 p.m. Denver arrests and citations are down nearly 20 percent from last month

It’s not just reported crime that’s down. Police officers have arrested and cited a lot fewer people, too, according to data from the Denver Police Department.

March saw an 18.1 percent drop in arrests (when people are taken into custody) and citations (when people are summoned to court) compared to February.

“This is unprecedented,” Police Chief Paul Pazen said.

In-custody arrests fell 18.4 percent and citations fell 17.6 percent. Police made 3,588 arrests and citations in February and 2,936 in March.

Compared to March 2019, the change is even starker: A 20.6 percent drop.

The department saw a drop in overall arrests in 2019 than the previous years, with 6,000 fewer arrests.

Pazen said the “steep” drop shows the department is keeping the community safe. He said in addition to the shift in policy, like responding to more low-level crimes over the phone or online, Pazen said the department’s diversion programs are helping reduce arrests.

☠️ 12:33 p.m. Jen’s mask is pretty and scary (pretty scary)

In response to Kevin’s masterful mask photoshopping of the governor, Denverite reader Jen Beach shared her homemade mask with us.

“Now I just need a pink robe to go with it while I go grocery shopping!” she said in an email.

(Courtesy, Jennifer Beach/Wikimedia Commons)

(Courtesy, Jennifer Beach/Wikimedia Commons)

The covering evokes (on purpose) medieval masks that plague doctors wore during the Black Death. That era’s frontline healthcare workers were under the impression that the plague was spread through foul, airborne smells, so they stuffed the beaks with things like flowers and herbs to combat the disease.

“I actually wore it around today and got lots of people to smile!” Beach wrote. “Mission accomplished!”

– David Sachs

😷 10:58 a.m. Congresswoman DeGette made her own face masks

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver showed off some of the face masks she knitted for her family this weekend. Gov. Jared Polis on Friday recommended all Coloradans use facemask when stepping outside to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus (we’ve got some Denver facemasks for ya).

🏃‍♀️9:46 a.m. The Colfax Marathon scrapped its original weekend

The race would have happened May 16 and 17.

“We know many of you are training, raising money for charity and planning with your teams. We do hope we can run in 2020, and that the COVID-19 precautionary measures have a great impact.”

Runners head down 17th Avenue in the annual Colfax Marathon's final leg, May 20, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Runners head down 17th Avenue in the annual Colfax Marathon's final leg, May 20, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

⛪8:26 a.m. A church is refusing to cancel in-person services

At least one church in Denver is refusing to abide by the state’s stay-at-home orders. According to Fox31:

Messiah Baptist Church posted on its Facebook page last month that it wouldn’t cancel any service “due to the coronavirus, snow, hail, wind, locust or any other natural or super natural event with the exception of the rapture. If Christ comes to call us home, whoever is left behind can do what they want.”

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Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.