DENVER — City officials on Thursday urged residents to remain cautious about COVID-19 and said Denver will keep certain protocols in place, even after the state hands control to local jurisdictions in the near future.
Mayor Michael Hancock said residents should expect the city's mask mandate to remain in place through early May, and likely longer, as the city assesses the mandate on a month-to-month basis. Bob McDonald, director of the Denver health department, said Denver will keep indoor capacity limits, to some extent, in place for the foreseeable future, though limits on outdoor spaces could be lifted.
Making the jump from current Level Yellow restrictions to no restrictions and no masks "would be a mistake," McDonald said. Gov. Jared Polis has said the state plans to give local governments control of their COVID-19 protocols sometime in April.
Hancock and McDonald said Denver's numbers have upticked slightly but remain mostly on a plateau, despite an increase in people with the vaccine. Denver's latest seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases is 140.3 per 100,000 residents.
McDonald urged all residents to get the vaccine. The state is expanding eligibility to all adult Coloradans on Friday.
"If there's one point I can’t hit home enough today, it’s that everyone get vaccinated," McDonald said. "Not just to protect the individual, to protect anyone."
Denver officials on Thursday said they would work with other metro cities and counties in a "regional effort" to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Jefferson County health officials on Thursday said they were "awaiting further guidance" from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on the next steps for loosening restrictions. Jefferson County officials said mask-wearing indoors and social distancing will "remain essential."