Denver Mayor Michael Hancock followed the lead of a number of states and cities Monday in announcing a “stay-at-home” order that steps up efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Here are answers to common questions about Denver’s new order, which is similar to orders that some jurisdictions have called “shelter-in-place.”

When does Denver’s order take effect?

The stay-at-home order takes effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday. It will last until April 10, unless it’s extended by the mayor.

Who is affected by the stay-at-home order?

People, organizations and businesses within city limits, though employers deemed “essential” will be allowed to operate. Working from home is encouraged for workers at “nonessential” businesses in Denver — whether or not they live in the city.

What are the key exceptions for outside-the-home activities?

Going to the grocery store, health care appointments, the pharmacy or outside to exercise. People also can deliver food and necessary supplies to others, or visit others’ homes to provide care. People who are sick and those who are at high risk of severe illness should stay home except to seek medical care.

The mayor emphasized that people should maintain 6 feet of separation from other people when they are engaged in any activities outside home, including at work for essential employers.

What about takeout at restaurants?

Restaurants can continue offering takeout, drive-thru and delivery service for food and drinks, as previous orders by the mayor and governor have allowed. Residents can leave home to pick up food.

Where can people exercise outside?

In their neighborhoods and at Denver’s parks and mountain parks. Those will remain open for walking, running, cycling and hiking, but the new order says picnics, games and other group activities won’t be allowed. Golf courses and playgrounds will be closed.

Is this order mandatory?

For people within the city of Denver, yes.

How will the order be enforced?

City officials are hoping for voluntary compliance. But Hancock said the city would “enforce, as necessary — whenever and however we have to,” with several city agencies on heightened alert. In many cases, people violating it simply will be asked to go home.

What kinds of travel are allowed?

People in Denver are allowed to travel to work for essential employers and for allowed activities. Cabs, ride-hailing services and other kinds of transportation, including public transit, are exempt from the order, as are air travel and cargo operations.

Does the order allow friends to gather?

Public health experts are discouraging gatherings of people who don’t live together because of the potential to spread the coronavirus among people who don’t exhibit symptoms. The city’s new order allows some leeway for home visits, prohibiting only gatherings of “any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit.”

What are essential employers?

A host of government, health care, infrastructure and business employers are considered essential and can remain open.

A partial list of business exemptions: the food industry, including convenience and pet supply stores; banks; hotels and motels; hardware stores, dry cleaners and laundromats; houses of worship and social services providers that assist the needy; telecom and internet service providers; oil and gas companies; the news media; skilled trades, including plumbers, electricians and others that provide home maintenance and repair; professional services providers whose assistance is necessary to comply with the law; and the construction industry. Read the complete list in the order.

What about liquor and marijuana sales?

Liquor stores and recreational marijuana stores can remain open with practices in place to ensure 6-foot spacing between individuals, the city said late Monday afternoon — after officials initially included them in the ordered closures. Medical marijuana dispensaries already had been exempted.

There also was confusion surrounding breweries. Mayoral spokesperson Theresa Marchetta confirmed Monday evening that brewpubs and breweries whose licensing previously allowed for takeout and delivery of their beer under state rules will be able to continue doing so.

How does this affect nonessential businesses?

Businesses that aren’t exempt will have to shut down all facilities within city limits, but their employees can continue to work from home. There are exceptions for on-site work, including for minimal administrative and security functions, as well as those that are necessary to process online orders and to provide support for employees who are working from home.

Will shipping and delivery be affected?

Services provided by the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, among others, won’t be affected by Denver’s order. Also exempt are businesses that provide home delivery of food or goods and those that provide shipping services and post office boxes.

Can day cares stay open?

Child care providers are exempt under limitations that include keeping each child in the same group of 10 or fewer each day, with each group in a separate room. Each child care provider must be detailed to one group only.

Document: Denver stay-at-home order

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