Polis: Virus disproportionately affects Colorado ski country

A women sets up for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment first community testing center for COVID-19 at the state lab on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Denver, Colo. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock late Thursday afternoon declared a state of emergency for the city and county of Denver in response to the coronavirus, effective for the next seven days.

The emergency declaration could free up additional resources to support the city’s emergency response efforts.

Hancock is also discouraging large gatherings within the city and country “to protect public health and safety and mitigate potential spread of COVID-19,” according to the city’s news release on Thursday.

The emergency declaration will also allow the city to tap into needed funding streams and resources.

As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, state health officials had identified 49 presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus. Ten cases are in Denver.

At least 22 people have been quarantined, the city said, although those individuals are not symptomatic.

Hancock has called for the postponement of optional city government-sponsored public meetings and to use online services when possible.

The city also expanded the staffing of its Emergency Operations Center on Thursday from a partial activation to a full activation. The center will remain staffed on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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