Coronavirus roundup: Denver requires masks, some businesses can reopen Saturday

A face mask made by Denver’s Knotty Tie Co. (Thomas Gounley)

The city of Denver is requiring individuals to wear face masks in certain public settings starting Wednesday.

Masks must be worn in the following settings:

  • + Inside or while waiting in line to enter retail or commercial businesses such as grocery stores
  • + Inside any government building
  • + While on public transit or while waiting for public transit, including vehicles hailed through apps such as Uber
  • + Inside facilities offering healthcare facilities 

“To be clear, you don’t need to wear a face covering if you’re out for a walk, exercising outdoors or driving in your car,” Hancock said in a Tuesday press conference.

Hancock said face masks can be homemade, and bandanas and repurposed ski gear can be used. 

“As long as it covers your nose and mouth, it’ll work,” Hancock said. “Those goes for anyone over the age of three, except for people that have a medical condition that would prevent them from being able to wear a face covering.”

No stay-at-home order extension: The city also has said that Denver’s stay-at-home order, which runs through this Friday, will not be extended.

The statewide stay-at-home order already has expired.

What happens Saturday:

The following businesses can reopen in the city on Saturday:

  • + Noncritical retail such as clothing, home goods, cellphone (with 50 percent of employees and six-foot social distancing)
  • + Personal services such as hair/nail salon, tattoo, pet groomer and personal trainers (with 10 or fewer people in a single location or max of 50 percent occupancy, whichever is less; by appointment only, no walk-ins; and strict requirements about PPE and distancing)
  • + Noncritical offices (with 50 percent of employees)
  • + Field services such as in-person real-estate showings
  • + Limited healthcare (with 10 or fewer people in a single location or max of 50 percent occupancy, whichever is less; by appointment only, no walk-ins)
  • + Post-secondary education

The following businesses cannot reopen Saturday, and remain ordered closed until further notice:

  • + Sit-down service in restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and other places of public accommodation
  • + Movie theaters
  • + Live-performance theaters
  • + Concert venues
  • + Sports arenas
  • + Gyms (with very limited exceptions)
  • + Shopping malls (except for stores that have public entrances/exits to the outside)
  • + Outdoor recreation facilities such as children’s playgrounds, and tennis and basketball courts
  • + City recreation centers and libraries

Layoff notices: Warwick Denver Hotel, at 1776 Grant St. in Denver, recently told the state it laid off 64 employees in March.

“At that time, the reduction in operation was expected to last for approximately three months,” the hotel’s general manager said in an April 27 letter to the state. “Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic the Hotel has determined that the reduction of operation at the property will last until at least September 11.”

Sodexo, meanwhile, told the state in an April 28 letter that it planned to lay off 248 food service and janitorial employees at the end of the month. The employees worked for United Airlines’ United and Polaris clubs.

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