Denver, Boulder and other metro area governments are preparing to issue or extend their own stay-at-home orders if Gov. Jared Polis goes forward with relaxing the current state rules in the fight against the coronavirus.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is prepared to extend his social distancing order into May, as neither he nor his public health director believe the city is ready to do enough to safely re-open businesses.
“When we think about where we are in terms of testing and contact tracing, we realize we are not anywhere near close to being ready to do this,” Hancock said in a recording of a city meeting obtained by Denverite.
“We want to do it right because if this comes back in the fall and we’re not prepared properly, it’s going to be even more devastating,” he added later.
Hancock said he had spoken with leaders of other metro area governments who said they were planning on creating their own orders, or extending existing orders until May 8 or May 15. Denver's order will last until May 8, the mayor's office said.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman confirmed on Twitter that discussions were underway among several public health directors to decide whether to stick with state guidance or go their own way.
Gov. Jared Polis has announced his intention to relax the state's current stay-at-home order starting Monday. He has emphasized that he is not throwing the state wide open, but wants a phased "safe at home" re-opening with vulnerable populations including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions remaining largely at home.
Boulder County's health department said they would wait until Sunday to make a decision.
"We are studying current trends and working with our local business community to prepare clear guidance for each sector outlined in the Governor’s Safe at Home phase. We are also reviewing the need to extend the Stay-At-Home order to May 8, 2020 for jurisdictions that are still experiencing high numbers of people sick with COVID-19, while allowing non-essential businesses to begin curbside delivery/pick-up," the Boulder health department said in a release. "A decision will be made by Sunday, April 26 about what steps will be taken to begin to slowly reopen our local businesses."