Mar 3, 2023 - COVID

Mayor Hancock officially ends Denver's COVID state of emergency

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock during a news briefing on Nov. 17, 2020. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver's COVID-19 state of emergency ended this week, nearly three years after Colorado's first case was reported March 5, 2020.

Why it matters: The move marks the end of the pandemic for the Mile High City.

Driving the news: Mayor Michael Hancock issued the first declaration on March 12, 2020, but his administration let it expire nearly three years later because of the low numbers of new cases and the forthcoming end of the federal emergency declaration.

By the numbers: Denver has recorded 224,783 COVID cases since March 2020, according to the city's dashboard.

  • 1,547 Denverites have died from the virus.

What they're saying: "Those who have passed are not forgotten and are a constant reminder of the impact this virus has had on our community," Hancock said in a statement Friday.

Flashback: He issued a stay-at-home order on March 24, 2020, less than two weeks after declaring a state of emergency. The stay-at-home order remained in place until May 8 that year.

Of note: At a recent PBS mayoral debate, Hancock was commended by numerous candidates vying for his job for his handling of the pandemic.

  • "We did an amazing job during the pandemic … that was because of Mayor Hancock," Kwame Spearman said.

The big picture: Denver's action follows efforts at the state level to dial back the pandemic emergency, including the recent rescinding of emergency public health orders. Only two remain in effect to ensure access to testing and treatment options.

What's next: President Biden is ending the federal COVID public health emergency and national health emergency designations on May 11.

  • The decision is expected to usher in major changes, including shifting control of pricing and coverage of COVID-19 testing and vaccines away from the government and over to the commercial market, Axios Vitals' Tina Reed reports.

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