In response to the escalating coronavirus outbreak, the Commerce City Council has enacted a number of social-distancing measures, including banning dine-in service at restaurants, public gatherings of 10 or more people and outside social gatherings of more than 10 people for 30 days.
The city also urges citizens to abide by a voluntary curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The declaration includes a provision that no public utility service will be disconnected during the 30-day period as long as the customer notifies the city that they can’t pay their bill.
The city council approved these measures unanimously March 24 as part of an emergency declaration.
City manager James Wascher stressed that the curfew is voluntary.
“If you don’t need to leave your house, don’t leave your house,” he said.
No one will be arrested for breaking curfew.
Fire, law enforcement, medical/hospital (including veterinary), military and utility emergency repair personnel are exempt from the curfew. It would also not extend to those seeking medical and hospital care; those traveling to and from their jobs (with appropriate identification); those delivering food, fuel and medical supplies; news media; and employees of businesses deemed essential by GEMA. It also provides exceptions for persons caring for animals or the care of an animal shelter, boarding facility, kennel and persons walking personal animals; and critical infrastructure businesses and employees as designated by the governor or homeland security.
“I just hope people understand, it’s voluntary,” Wascher said. “We’re not coming to lock down and board up homes at 9 p.m.”
While the emergency declaration bans dine-in service, restaurants can still offer take-out orders to its customers. But patrons, employees and contractors must maintain a distance of six feet from other individuals “as much as possible given the physical constraints of the premises.”
Establishments such as grocery stores and pharmacies must post signage at entrances informing customers to stay six feet away from other individuals.
“This is basically just common sense,” Washer said. “We want to try to create as much distance between people as possible. Pharmacies, grocery stores and things of that nature are critical. They’re not going to close, and people are going to these establishments. We want them to try to practice the safest distances that they can.”
The ban on public gatherings prohibits those on city property with 10 or more people at a location. Social gatherings of more than 10 people outside of a household are prohibited.
With the passage of emergency declaration, the city’s civic center will shut down for events, while access to city hall will be limited.
The city council will conduct its meetings via by teleconference during this state of emergency.