DENVER | Denver will enforce stricter mask mandates and limits on group gatherings as the city experiences a spike in new COVID-19 cases, Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced Friday.
The city is implementing a mask mandate for outdoor settings, effective immediately with exceptions for individuals who are outside alone or those with people in their immediate households.
Denver is also limiting the number of non-related people gathering from 10 to five which will be in place until Nov. 16. While the new restrictions will not affect the current rules in place for businesses such as restaurants, city officials warned that businesses as well as indoor and outdoor activities could face tighter restrictions again if the upward COVID-19 trends continue.
Hancock called the coronavirus trends in Denver “concerning” and added that the increase in average daily cases is “higher than we’ve ever been over the course of this pandemic.”
The new measures come as the state experiences an upward trend and as the county of Denver records over 700 new confirmed cases this week, according to data from the Denver public health department.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
Colorado’s Department of Public Health Executive Director Bob McDonald said that enforcement will include issuing summons to appear in court. But despite civil enforcement, Hancock emphasized the importance of personal responsibility to keep others safe as well as to protect the city’s economy.
“Several holidays including Halloween and Thanksgiving are right around the corner and we must take these additional steps over the next 30 days and do the hard work that’s needed now so that we can enjoy the holiday seasons with our families,” Hancock said.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.