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DENVER (KDVR) — Mayor Michael Hancock issued a “Home by 10” order for the City and County of Denver that will go into effect on Sunday following a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“This is not about enforcement. This is about saving lives,” shared Mayor Hancock.

Colorado ranks at 6th for the fastest growth of COVID-19 in the country.

“There’s another stay at home order in our future if we don’t change our behavior,” shared Mayor Hancock.

Denver residents will be ordered to stay home and non-essential businesses will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The order is expected to last for 30 days.

Here are the rules:

  • Liquor stores will be required to close at 10 p.m.
  • People will need to be home from restaurants by 10 p.m.
  • Order does not extend to essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals.

“We are not trying to implement a curfew. We are asking people to do their part in saving lives,” shared Mayor Hancock.

FOX31 has learned that protesters will still be allowed to gather. They will be required to wear a mask and be socially distanced.

The order is a Public Health Order, not a law enforcement order. People and businesses out and about or operating from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. could still face a citation.

“I don’t think its inevitable that we will move to a stay at home but it is definitely possible. We are doing everything we can to drive numbers down and stay away from a Stay at Home order. This is the last effort.” shared Mayor Hancock.

The coronavirus is spreading among smaller unregulated settings, like friends gathering at people’s homes, and the city wants to try and get a handle on it any way it can.

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova said students in early childhood education through second grade will continue in-person learning. Older students will remain remote.

“Families whose students attend a charter school should check with their own school for their plan,” Cordova said in a statement.

In late October, DPS announced grades 3 – 5 would switch to fully remote learning from Nov. 2 until the Thanksgiving holiday.