DENVER — Downtown Denver is about to get really… crowded.
City leaders are welcoming visitors for the MLB All Star game next week, plus all the events leading up to the game. And they are confident it's safe enough to do so.
“I am very proud of Denver and the metro region,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, during a press conference Wednesday. “Denver surpassed 70% of fully vaccinated residents, which says a lot and certainly shows we're ready as a city to host these types of events and get back to our way of life.”
That 70% represents eligible residents (ages 12 and up) who have at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. City leaders are proud of the local vaccination rate, but acknowledge that many visitors are coming to Denver from out-of-town.
Denver is planning on a full capacity crowd this weekend, and Coors field no longer has a mask rule. Visitors are strongly encouraged to wear one and socially distance, or even avoid the events altogether, if not vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the more contagious Delta variant is circulating around the country and in Colorado.
“As with any situation, if you are not vaccinated the [Delta] variant and COVID in general presents an extreme risk to you,” Hancock said. “And it’s important that, as you come to engage with crowds, that you protect yourself and those around you.”
In addition to the vaccination rate, Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment reports the city’s positivity rate is below 2%, with case counts and hospitalizations remaining low. DDPHE Executive Director Bob McDonald said he does not expect an outbreak in Denver following the All Star game.
“For a number of weeks now things have been opening in indoor and outdoor settings and we haven’t seen an uptick in cases, largely due to the vaccination rate. I’m not concerned about MLB week,” he said.
McDonald said unvaccinated fans should reconsider participating in All Star game events, and urged personal accountability for each individual’s safety.
But for vaccinated visitors –
“I’m not overly concerned about [the All Star game] being hosted here in Denver. I think it's time to start to taking advantage of things we enjoy, things we liked to do before the pandemic.”
When asked about the All Star game and COVID variant concerns, Governor Jared Polis also seemed optimistic.
"The All Star game is outdoors. If people are not vaccinated, I would not recommend they attend the game, Polis said Wednesday." I think people who are fully vaccinated should feel free to attend it without worry."
"It's outdoors, it's lower risk, but there's going to be a lot of people there and a lot of crowding indoors in the food areas and bathrooms. And I just encourage people to be safe. And if you do go and you're not vaccinated I would recommend you wear a mask when you're in those indoor areas around others."
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