Denver Mayor Hancock warns of COVID-19 limits, city to increase mask enforcement

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock repeated a warning Friday: If the city’s coronavirus numbers continue moving in the wrong direction, he’ll be forced to undo recent reopenings.

The number of cases remains too high, Hancock said.

Currently Denver is seeing a 7-day average of 89.7 new COVID-19 cases daily, Hancock said. That’s up from 72.3, the average on July 17.

The testing positivity rate sits around 4.5%, Hancock said. And the 7-day average number of people hospitalized with the virus is now 132.6, down from the average of 152 recorded on July 23.

In addition, about 30% of emergency room beds remain available throughout the metropolitan area, Hancock said.

“While we seem to be holding our own in this fight against the virus, I want to remind everyone that a rise in any one of these caution metrics is concerning,” he said. “If we see a rise in all four, that would likely trigger additional rollbacks and possible action by the state. That is what we want to avoid.”

To ensure the outlook doesn’t worsen, Hancock said it’s imperative that people in Denver wear masks, socially distance themselves from others, avoid large crowds and wash their hands frequently.

Public Health Director Bob McDonald underscored those points, noting that city officials will more aggressively enforce mask mandates, distancing and capacity requirements and more.

“This can boil over at any point in time,” McDonald says. “We need to be diligent.”

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