MAYOR HANCOCK: "Different Summer" Ahead After Stay-At-Home Order Is Lifted

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock speaks on Monday, April 20.

The COVID-19 stay-at-home order for the city and county of Denver runs through April 30.

Mayor Michael Hancock said Monday that lifting the stay-at-home order on the currently scheduled date of April 30 is not a done deal.

"We still have a lot of work to do over the next seven to ten days," the mayor said. "Some of our biggest challenges are significantly increasing testing for COVID-19 and then testing for antibodies as well as retraining and hiring staff for contact testing."

Bob McDonald, the Executive Director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, said they need to be able to test 1500-2000 people per week and as of last week, he said the capacity is "in the hundreds."

Mayor Hancock said the city could reopen even if testing capacity falls short of McDonald's stated goal.

"It depends on how robust we are moving towards that number and if the impediments to that number, if we can get over them and ultimately find ourselves at the place we want to me," Mayor Hancock said.

Mayor Hancock said the city's social distancing order, which runs through May 11, will be extended.

"You can bet on that," he said.

He said once the stay-at-home order is lifted, life will not look as it did before the crisis.

"We as a city should anticipate these restrictions to remain in place for a while," he said. "This will be a different summer for those of us in Denver, Colorado."

Mayor Hancock said city golf courses will reopen on Wednesday, April 22. Denver Parks and Recreation Executive Director Happy Haynes said the courses will open with the following protocols in place:

--Reserving tee times in advance by phone only.

--Upon arrival, guests will be met in the parking lot and given instructions on how to proceed through the course.

--Golfers will go directly to the tee box.

--Golfers must abide by the minimum six-foot social distancing requirement at all times while on the course.

--Golfers must only use their own equipment. They are not permitted to share any equipment with other golfers.

--Hole flags will remain in place at all times.

--Cups will be covered. Any ball that rolls over the cover will be considered in the hole.

--All shared items on the course will be removed or rendered unusable including bunker rakes, ball washers, water coolers, etc.

--Golf carts will be limited to one person per cart and each cart will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

--Clubhouses will be closed except for use of restrooms and ordering take-out food.

The mayor said the auxiliary homeless shelter for women is opening today (Monday, April 20) at the Denver Coliseum.

Mayor Hancock's full remarks are below. Also speaking:

--Britta Fisher, Chief Housing Officer

--Bob McDonald. Executive Director, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment

--Happy Haynes, Exective Director, Parks and Recreation

--Matt Mueller, Executive Director, Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Golf protocols and restrictions as explained by Happy Haynes.

4-20-20 Happy Haynes - Denver Golf Protocols And Restrictions

Full remarks from Mayor Hancock.

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From the city:

City and County of Denver Provides Updates on COVID-19 Response 

 Changes to parks and golf course usage, new auxiliary shelter, business and artist relief 

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced several updates to Denver’s response to COVID-19, underscoring the need to continue to stay at home and enjoy the outdoors responsibly. The Mayor and the Emergency Operations Center have begun recovery planning efforts, but physical distancing remains the most effective tool currently to limit the spread of the virus.  

The city will work in close coordination with Governor Polis and metro area leadership, including public health directors, to determine whether the health care data we are seeing supports a phased relaxation of the stay-at-home order. Several scenarios for recovery planning are being considered to ensure government services can remain nimble even as the community learns to live with a new normal. Significantly increasing testing for COVID-19 and then testing for anti-bodies, as well as retraining or hiring staff for contact tracing, remain  priorities. More detailed information will be provided in the coming days and weeks about how the transition to recovery planning will impact large gatherings, local residents, and the re-opening of businesses.  

As the planning is occurring, the city is taking several steps to provide support for people experiencing homelessness, relief for residents and businesses, including over $2 million for local businesses and artists, and the re-opening of public golf courses with new safety measures in place. While the city is intent on re-opening public and economic life in Denver as soon as possible, public health is paramount, and many restrictions will remain in place. Residents should anticipate that the city’s public health order covering restrictions on large gatherings and events, which is set to expire on May 11, will be extended later this week to a date to be determined.  

“We won’t be just flipping on the light switch. This is going to be a gradual turning of the dimmer switch with many protective measures that have been put in place remaining in the place until we have better control of COVID-19’s spread,” Mayor Hancock said. “Thank you to everyone who stayed home this weekend – you helped save someone’s life, maybe your own.”  

Park Usage and Golf Course Openings: Denver Parks and Recreation is providing additional information associated with activities in Denver parks to maintain physical distancing and support the health and well-being of park visitors:

·If you are sick, do not visit the parks

·Separate at least 6 feet from others

·Do not gather or travel in groups

·Group sports and activities are prohibited

·Shared use equipment is not allowed (i.e.: frisbees, footballs, etc.)

·Bring your own hand sanitizer/washing supplies

·Leash your dog to prevent accidental cross-contamination with others

Additionally, all city-operated golf courses will reopen to the public on Wednesday, April 22, weather permitting, with restrictions in place to ensure physical distancing, including reserved tee times. More information can be found at

Denver will continue to monitor and enforce physical distancing in parks and golf courses. If you visit a park, please visit the one closest to you. Ninety percent of Denver residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. Find a park near you to explore at If you need enforcement in your local park, please call 311. 

Business Relief Fund: Denver Economic Development & Opportunity will begin awarding an initial $2 million in grants today to support many of Denver’s most vulnerable small businesses. This is part of the City and County of Denver’s commitment to identify, develop and implement local programs, including financial and wrap-around services, to support Denver business owners and their employees affected by the city’s public health response to COVID-19. The grants are provided through the Small Businesses Emergency Relief Fund launched in mid-March as one the city’s initiatives to help businesses cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Denver Economic Development & Opportunity will begin notifying recipients this week. The city is partnering with Mile High United Way to release the funds and estimates that the first round of funding will include 200-250 recipients. Grants are going to a variety of businesses, including retail, hospitality, personal care, healthcare, manufacturing and logistics, and ranging in size from sole proprietors to employers of 10 or more. The city estimates that about 60 percent are women- and/or minority-owned businesses. They are located throughout the city and in every council district, with more than half located in neighborhoods identified by the city as most vulnerable to displacement.  

To expand emergency relief support to small businesses beyond the $4 million the city is contributing, the city has partnered with the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) to raise funds. To date, DDP has raised more than $400,000 for the city’s small business relief program through the generous support of the Denver banking and insurance industries as well as the DDP membership. More grants will be disbursed in May. City staff continues to work around the clock with nonprofit, philanthropic and private-industry partners to ensure everyone is cared for during these extraordinary times.

Colorado Artist Relief Fund: Denver Arts & Venues has finished evaluating 295 applications received for the Colorado Artist Relief Fund helping individual artists impacted by closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants equaling $170,000 will be paid upon completion of processing.The Colorado Artist Relief Fund is a partnership between Denver Arts & Venues, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Colorado Creative Industries and RedLine Contemporary Art Center.Please visit RedLine’s website for more information. The Colorado Artist Relief Fund is currently on pause until funding sources can catch up to the level of need. There will be another announcement when funding applications are once again accepted. Those interested in contributing to this fund can donatehere.

Residential Care Facilities: Over the last two months, the city has issued all 118 facilities in Denver at least three sets of public health orders outlining policies, procedures and protocols to keep their patients and staffs safe and healthy. Denver will be increasing oversight of and support for long-term care facilities. The city will be reassigning DDPHE staff for compliance visits to as many of these facilities as possible over the next two weeks and will be working with them to ensure they are following physical distancing requirements, and we will continue prioritizing these facilities for additional PPE, testing and staff support. 

Women’s Auxiliary Shelter at Denver Coliseum: The new women’s auxiliary shelter at the Denver Coliseum will serve up to 300 women and transgender individuals across the spectrum and operate similarly to the men’s auxiliary shelter; providing screening, medical triage, and access to respite facilities for those exhibiting symptoms or advised to isolate due to medical necessity. All guests will be screened for symptoms at entry. The shelter opens today, Monday, April 20, 2020. The shelter is just one more way the city is providing support for people experiencing homelessness, including over 550 motel and hotel rooms secured by the city and partners to provide protection and respite where needed.

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