Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar announced two new directives Thursday morning, including a two-week curfew that goes into effect Friday night to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The two-week curfew begins at 10 p.m and will go through Friday, Nov. 13, at 5 a.m. The curfew will be between `10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night. He also said the city is stepping up enforcement at local businesses licensed by Pueblo if they are not following public guidelines.
COVID CURFEW: @CityofPueblo just announced there is going to be a city-wise curfew in an attempt to lower the amount of COVID cases. The curfew starts at 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. If you are out after curfew you could face a $1,000 fine and put in jail for up to a year. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/KGUSR9iqRd
— Carl Winder KOAA (@CWinderKOAA) October 29, 2020
The mayor said Pueblo is "going in the wrong direction" when analyzing the number of positive cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations. As of Wednesday, the Pueblo Department of Public Health said there were 2,002 confirmed and probable cases and 43 deaths.
These executive actions are intended to slow the spread of the virus while keeping Pueblo's businesses and schools open.
Parkview Hospital has seen its highest number of patients since March. He said the hospital is stretched to the limit and only had two ICU beds available for patients on Tuesday. Currently, Pueblo County is at the Safer at Home Level 2: Concern on the Colorado COVID-19 dial. However, numbers are pushing the county toward Level 3: High-Risk stage.
Police Chief Troy Davenport said in regards to the curfew that officers will approach the situation with no assumptions and ask questions as each situation presents itself.
"We are in an unprecedented period. Again, it's a two-week period...we've got to get it under control," Police Chief Troy Davenport said during the conference.
The mayor said over the last week there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases, creating an increase in hospitalizations in the city. He said if the city does not take action, he believes more deaths will happen and businesses could be further impacted.
Gradisar said that at the rate cases are spreading in the city, Pueblo could be seeing a stay at home order that was seen back in March.
"If we move to the stay at home level, most of our small businesses will shut down," he said. "...It is up to each and every one of us to keep our businesses open."
Last Tuesday, Gradisar announced city offices will limit the number of people in the building starting Wednesday by having employees telecommute through Monday, Nov. 2. This has now been extended through Friday, Nov. 13.
"This is important that everybody step up and do their part right now," the mayor said. He said during that press conference that the city is looking at ways to enforce requirements and keep cases from spreading, such as suspending business liquor licenses if they are not following certain requirements.
Pueblo County was notified on Friday, Oct. 16, by the state health department that there must be changes in their metrics in two weeks, otherwise, they will have to move to greater restrictions. The two-week time period started on Oct.16, and according to those with the state health department, they notify counties after three days of elevated metrics.
After the two weeks, if metrics are still outside of the Level 2 range, Pueblo would have to submit a mitigation plan to the state. The two-week period is set to expire on Oct. 30.