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Mayor Michael Hancock On Spike In Coronavirus Cases: Denver In A 'Make Or Break Moment'

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver Mayor Michael Hancock addressed the spike in COVID-19 cases in Denver on Monday, saying the number of people getting sick is increasing at an alarming rate. Hancock said the 7-day average of cases in Denver is as high as it was at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in May. Denver's positivity rate is sitting between 4% and 4.5%, with a 37% increase over hospitalization rates compared to a week ago.

Anything over 5% is when the World Health Organization recommends major shutdown and stay-at-home orders.

Hancock urged everyone to wear a mask, avoid large groups and follow social distancing rules.

"We are at a fork in the road, and here's why the path we choose is so important. Level 2 is currently in a 'safer-at-home.' On Colorado's system, level 2 means increased capacity in our restaurants and small businesses. That's important for them to keep the doors open and employees on the job, it's important for overall economic health. Level 2 means we can also see site specific variances from the state for outdoor events and venues, our schools can do some in-person learning, taking pressure off of working parents."

Hancock said that if things keep going in this direction, it could mean a major economic impact on Denver's economy.

"That would mean absolute devastation to those businesses. And for working parents it could mean having their kids back to full-time remote learning. And not every parent has the benefit of working from home. It could mean more job losses in our economy, we're at another make or break moment here. And that's the situation we find ourselves in, our city and our residents can't afford it."

Hancock asked that everyone stay home as much as possible.

He said city administrators are also worried about the upcoming flu season and the impact it may have on hospitals as patients with the flu or with COVID are admitted.

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