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During a news conference on May 6, Mayor Michael Hancock announced that Denver would pass the state’s updated Face Covering Ordinance, which will allow individuals to work in groups of ten or more in groups of ten or more without a mask at least 80 percent of the time Those present were vaccinated.

However, this 80 percent threshold – and an 85 percent standard for restaurant employees who want to avoid masking at work – must be proven by documents such as a vaccination card. While displaying the card or equivalent is technically voluntary, the 80 and 85 percent requirements can only be met if enough people meet the requirements to offset anti-Vaxxers or members of the Freedom crowd who take measures such as “Show- me-your-papers “mocks rules.

Hancock began by denouncing Denver’s previous vaccination success: 63 percent of Denver residents over fifteen received at least one shot and 45 percent received two, he said.

“It is not time to declare victory,” he quickly added, as vaccine resistance and reluctance involving “our color communities, younger adults and older white men” remain widespread. With this in mind, Hancock urged Denver to exceed President Joe Biden’s recent goal of vaccinating 70 percent of eligible adults in the United States by July 4th. Hancock wants more than 60 percent of the total Denver population, including children, to be vaccinated by June 1st and 70 percent by July 1st.

Reaching these marks won’t be easy as children under the age of 16 have not yet been approved for the vaccination – although Hancock is confident that Pfizer’s drug will get federal law as early as next week for anyone between the ages of twelve and fifteen. But these levels are important to push for, he continued, because “Anyone who gets vaccinated brings us one step closer to being able to sit in restaurants, go to the gyms, or attend gatherings with family and friends. And economic recovery depends on the public. ” Restoring health. “

Next spoke, Bob McDonald, executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, who welcomed a slow decline in COVID-19 case numbers across the city and a positivity rate below the 5 percent figure reported by officials as red line is viewed. However, he acknowledged that hospital admissions have increased in part due to the influx of younger patients, and pointed out that vaccination rates are still lagging in color communities, and especially for Denver’s Latinx citizens.

Both issues were raised by Denver Clerk and recorder Paul López, who believed he caught COVID-19, and Nelson Caballeros, who got so sick he had to be hospitalized and continues to experience headaches and fatigue months later. Both talked about the importance of standing in line to take pictures, and López repeated his comments in Spanish.

Following remarks from Denver Department of Housing Stability Executive Director Britta Fisher, who announced a new project to turn the Stay Inn hotel in Denver into an animal shelter and then temporary accommodation (the city is aiming for additional federal funding of US $ 2 million Dollars to), Hancock invited questions. There was only one – about the nuts and bolts of the mask sequence. McDonald emphasized that corporate managers can, but don’t have to, use the 80 percent and 85 percent regulations if they want.

This won’t be an option in places like grocery stores and large retail stores, McDonald admitted, because ensuring that 80 percent of customers are vaccinated is simply not practical. With such settings he said, “We’ll keep the face covers in place a little longer.”

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Michael Roberts has been writing for Westword since October 1990 and has worked as a music editor and media columnist. It currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.