Denver City Council goes virtual 'until further notice'

(The Center Square) – The Denver City Council will conduct its business remotely “until further notice” as COVID-19 cases skyrocket in the city, officials said on Tuesday.

All meetings will be held remotely via Zoom. Members of the public can attend meetings, participate in public comment sessions, and observe council business by signing up via the council committee pages online.

“The public and city employees are our greatest concern during this surge of the Omicron variant,” Council President Stacie Gilmore said in a statement. “The virtual format will allow full public participation while providing everyone the most safety from exposure during the pandemic.”

According to the latest data from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has grown by 28% over the last seven days.

Denver tallied more than 11,000 cases on Monday alone with the city’s positivity rate sitting just north of 25%. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 infections have increased by nearly 34% over the last week as well, according to the city's data.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Kathy Howell, chief nursing officer at University of Colorado Hospital, said the state’s hospital system is nearing capacity as nurses and hospital staff face increased burnout from seeing the influx of patients.

“Council has developed a truly adaptable and inclusive meeting model that allows us to meet our obligation to keep moving city business forward, be accessible to community, and ensure language access,” Council President Pro Tem Jamie Torres said. “We look forward to city personnel and community continuing to participate virtually and in doing so, stay safe.”

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