DENVER — The City of Denver announced Friday that it was canceling all events taking place at city-owned venues, which include places like Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA), in an effort to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The other venues are:
- Denver Coliseum
- McNichols Civic Center Building
- Colorado Convention Center
- Red Rocks visitor center
On Saturday, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment announced that all events will be canceled for the next 30 days at the Pepsi Center, Paramount Theatre, Dick's Sporting Goods Park and 1stBank Center.
The first cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in February. On March 5, the first case was announced in Colorado and one week later, the number of confirmed cases in the state topped 70, according to health officials.
On Friday, health officials also announced that an El Paso County resident had died as a result of contracting the virus.
The announcement of the closures came on the same day that Gov. Jared Polis said he would cancel all events with more than 250 people unless organizers could guarantee effective social distancing would be put in place.
The Colorado Legislature also announced Friday that it will suspend its current session until March 30.
The closures of the Denver venues are effective immediately and will last through at least April 12.
"I want to reiterate these are not easy decisions," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "The welfare of our residents and visitors is at the forefront of our thinking in taking this step."
The 2020 Easter Sunrise service, which was set to take place on April 12, is impacted and will not happen.
"We are disappointed to share this news with you. In the past seventy-three years, we've had to cancel the worship service a few times due to weather. This is an unprecedented situation and a public health emergency," the Colorado Council of Churches said in a statement.
"We understand how much the Easter Sunrise Service means to our community, but your health and safety are most important to us. Gov. Polis' order to limit large gatherings, as well as the latest information provided by public health officials, reinforced our decision to cancel this year's service."
Beginning Monday, the libraries and recreation centers in Denver will be closed until further notice.
In a statement, DCPA said it was working to identify options to reschedule or credit guests with refunds.
All other cultural facilities in Denver, including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Botanic Gardens and Denver Zoo, will be issuing their own closure protocols, according to Hancock.
Denver Botanic Gardens said it is closing the following indoor spaces at our York Street location: the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory, Offshoots Café, the Science Pyramid, the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center and the Shop at the Gardens. Outdoor spaces at both the York Street and Chatfield Farms locations will remain open.
The Denver Zoo said it plans to remain open but with intentional restrictions that allow guests to maintain recommended social distancing across its 80-acres. The zoo will also enact new operational procedures that promote a clean environment and social distancing, which is defined as maintaining distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible.
As of Friday, he said Denver courts would remain open but would operate with a greater level of protection. They include modifications to limit the number of individuals in jury assembly rooms, and remain in compliance with the public health orders which have been recently issued by Hancock.
Transactions with city government that can be conducted online include electronic payments, court orders and parking tickets. Instructions are posted at denvergov.org.
The city also announced that Denver Police officers would take reports over the phone instead of being dispatched to non-emergency calls to make reports in person. Hancock said that would not affect emergency calls which officers would still respond to as needed.
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