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Denver will continue mask order at least until early May

Mayor Hancock said Denver will continue to reduce COVID restrictions gradually once the state hands over control.

DENVER — Mayor Michael Hancock (D-Denver) said the City and County will reduce COVID-related health restrictions gradually once the state gives more control to local leaders during a new conference Thursday.

Hancock and Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) Executive Director Bob McDonald said that Denver, which is currently in Level Yellow on the state's COVID dial, will continue to adhere to those guidelines in the near future.

They said Denver will continue an indoor mask mandate through at least early May, and will then revaluate on a monthly based on vaccination and case rates. Capacity limits will also continue to be in effect and periodically reevaluated.

"We're looking at a phased easing of restrictions based on the state's dial system," Hancock said. "We're still Yellow on the dial. The goal is to get from Yellow, to Blue to Green where we have a full-blown economy humming and people are safe at work no matter where they are."

> Watch the full press conference:

Hancock said public health experts are forming specific guidelines that will be shared over the coming weeks. He also said that cooperation among regional partners in the surrounding counties will be crucial.

"Denver isn't an island, and coordination across the metro area will be key to maintaining people's health and safety during this transition," Hancock said.

He urged people to get vaccinated and remain patient as COVID guidelines remain in place for the short-term future. 

"We're close, folks, to that goal line, and we have to protect the ball," Hancock said. "We must not fumble it, we must get across the line and get this done."

RELATED: Local health departments hope Polis keeps statewide mask order a little longer

Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) announced earlier this week that the state is expanding vaccine eligibility to Phase 2 on Friday, which includes all Coloradans 16 and older.

Polis also announced the state would likely turn more control over restrictions to local health departments in mid-April. However, the governor's office did said that statewide mask mandate will also likely be renewed through early May. 

“The current mask order expires April 3," a spokeswoman for Polis said. "The governor intends to sign a new 30-day mask order that will be modified to account for where we are in the pandemic, the varied cases count by county, and the feedback we have received through public comment.”

RELATED: FAQs: How and where to find a COVID vaccine in Colorado

Where and how to get a COVID vaccine in Colorado

The vaccine is available for members of the general public through major health care providers, pharmacies and mass vaccination sites.

Most, if not all, major health providers have waitlists where you can sign up. You can do that now, and once you are eligible and spots become available, you'll be notified by text, email or both.

By the end of this week, the following sites will be open in the state and will eventually be able to vaccinate about 6,000 people per day.

RELATED: Local health departments hope Polis keeps statewide mask order a little longer

RELATED: Polis announces general public eligible for vaccine on Friday

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