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Denver Botanic Gardens gets green light to reopen during safer-at-home order

Denver Botanic Gardens will reopen on a limited basis on May 22, a few days before the state's current safer-at-home order is set to expire.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) has approved a variance request to reopen the Denver Botanic Gardens before the state's safer-at-home order is set to expire.

Denver Botanic Gardens' York Street location will open with capped numbers, timed tickets and strict social distancing guidelines on Friday, May 22.

CDPHE approved the Garden's proposal to cap admissions at 250 people in two hour increments, equating to 11 people per acre and approximately 25% of the its typical attendance, according to a letter from the department. 

"We view the risk of disease transmission at the Gardens, while not identical, similar to an outdoor park setting, providing a low contact environment where ongoing, sustained contact by individuals outside of one’s household can be avoided and social distancing can be maintained at all times," the letter says. 

Visitors must purchase a ticket or make a member reservation online for a specific date and time to visit as tickets will not be available onsite.

Credit: Bobbi Sheldon, KUSA

Employees and contract workers must be monitored daily for symptoms, and symptomatic employees need to avoid the workplace and isolate until they are fever free for 72 hours, other symptoms have improved, and at least 10 days have passed since they became symptomatic, the letter says. 

Denver Botanic Gardens is also required to have staffing to monitor visitor traffic and disallow groups larger than 10 from gathering to view an exhibit. Onsite educational opportunities must also be limited to no more than 10 people.  

Denver Botanic Gardens said guests should be aware of the following before visiting: 

  • Visitation will be capped. Entry will be timed in 30-minute blocks. Please arrive within 30 minutes of your selected time.
  • Access to buildings will be limited to restrooms only. Mordecai Children’s Garden remains closed.
  • Municipal requirements for masks will be enforced. Visitors will not be allowed entry without adequate face covering.
  • Please practice social distancing – staying at least six feet away from visitors not in your party.
  • Outdoor drinking fountains will not be accessible, so bring your own water.
  • Wheelchair and stroller checkout is temporarily suspended. Plan to bring your own.
Credit: Josh B

The CDPHE letter says Denver will monitor multiple data points to determine whether the variance is effective and may remain in place, including case rates, hospital admissions, percent of positive tests, and available hospital beds. 

Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms’ re-opening is yet to be determined.

You can read the full letter at this link. 

On Monday, Denver Botanic Gardens announced that its 2020 summer concert series is canceled due to the pandemic. 

Colorado's safer-at-home order is currently is set to expire on May 26 but may be extended.

RELATED: Denver Botanic Gardens cancels 2020 summer concert series

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