After people swarmed liquor stores and marijuana shops, the executive order was then reversed just a few hours later.
On Monday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock held a conference at 2 p.m. where he issued a "stay-at-home" executive order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The order would include the closing of liquor stores and recreational marijuana dispensaries, and it would start on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
In the next hours, spaced-out lines began forming outside of marijuana shops and liquor stores as citizens prepared for the upcoming order. Shortly before 5 p.m., the city announced changes to the executive order, which will grant liquor stores and all marijuana stores to stay open as long as people practice "extreme physical distancing."
Initially, liquor stores and recreational marijuana shops were not exempt from the order as they were not considered "essential" businesses. However, medical marijuana sales were exempt under the order from the very beginning. Grocery stores would have been able to sell beer and liquor regardless.
Hancock stated the stay-at-home order starts with voluntary quarantine, but the city would enforce the order if necessary, with civil penalties up to $999 per violation.
The Denver order applies solely to the city of Denver, though Gov. Jared Polis said on Monday he supported other local municipalities taking action. Shortly after Mayor Hancock's announcement, other Coloradan cities and counties, like Boulder and Pitkin County, issued their own stay-at-home orders.
Aurora, a neighbor city to Denver, has not issued a stay-at-home order as of Tuesday, March 24, at 1:30 p.m. Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman stated in a Facebook post that such a decision will require a vote since Aurora lies within three different counties; Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas counties.
The stay-at-home executive order goes into effect on Tuesday, March 24, and will run through Friday, April 10.
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