Don’t get rid of that mask just yet, even if you’re vaccinated.
Citing the city’s large population and density, Mayor Michael Hancock said Thursday the city’s face covering order will likely be in place through early May for indoor settings. He said people living, visiting and working in Denver should expect other things like capacity limits at restaurants to remain in place for the time being.
He noted that any changes to these policies will be made on a month-to-month basis.
Keeping the face covering order in place means the city may end up breaking from the state’s order, which is set to expire on Saturday, though a spokesperson for Gov. Polis told CPR News the governor intends to sign a modified 30-day mask order. The state is shifting strategies, letting local governments like Denver’s make decisions about how to address the pandemic moving forward.
Starting Friday, everyone 16 and older will be eligible to get a vaccine (here’s how you can get one in Denver). But he warned people still need to be cautious, even as more people get vaccinated and become eligible.
“Even with these positive steps, we cannot — we simply cannot — ease up just yet,” Hancock said, adding that the city could see another surge if people drop their guard too much.
City public health executive director Bob McDonald said COVID-19 cases in Denver have plateaued, which McDonald said means that cases are “barely keeping pace” with people being vaccinated.
Nearly 29 percent of city residents have gotten an initial COVID-19 vaccination, while about 16 percent are fully vaccinated, according to data provided by Denver. Statewide, 37 percent of residents have gotten an initial shot, while 17 percent of Coloradans are fully vaccinated.
A mass community vaccination site opened on Thursday at Ball Arena, though the website to register for a shot there said all available appointments had been booked. The site will provide just over 1,000 vaccines a day, though it can be scaled up to 6,000 a day once there is enough supply, according to a release from the state’s health department.