DENVER — People found repeatedly violating the city of Denver’s stay-at-home order could be fined up to $999.
That’s according to a Facebook post from the Denver Police Department (DPD), which said that this fine is largely a last resort and that enforcement will focus on voluntary compliance.
The city of Denver’s stay-at-home order went into effect on Tuesday. A statewide order went into effect on Wednesday. While other counties in the metro area opted to cancel their orders in favor of the one from Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Denver’s order is still in place.
>>> Watch the video above for a look at day one of Denver's stay-at-home order
The goal of stay-at-home orders is to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Health experts say that avoiding contact can “flatten the curve” and prevent hospitals from being overcrowded.
Denver park rangers, officers and public health officials will be responsible for patrolling parks, recreational areas, businesses and neighborhoods to make sure the city’s order is enforced.
According to DPD, a person’s first violation of the order will likely come with a warning, but that could escalate to a fine if the behavior continues.
The stay-at-home order asks that Denver residents stay inside unless they’re participating in an “essential activity.” This ranges from everything to visiting the grocery store to taking care of relatives to outdoor exercises.
People who work for businesses classified as essential are also exempt.
During a news conference presenting his order, Hancock said he was disturbed by large groups of people playing basketball and congregating in parks over the weekend.
Tennis nets and basketball hoops in Denver parks have since been removed, and many places like picnic tables are blocked off.
People who do venture outside for walks or bike rides are told to stay at least six feet apart.
On its website, the city of Denver says it will track warnings and citations and “focus on a wide range of facilities and locations.”
People who receive citations for violating the stay-at-home order will be asked to appear in court. It will the be up to a judge to determine whether to impose a fine.
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