The other big Scientific and Cultural Facilities District institutions — the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science — had already announced their temporary closures last week.
The Denver Botanic Gardens, which had already closed its inside facilities and was only allowing visitors on the grounds, announced its complete closure in an online statement: "We have been following all federal, state and local recommendations and closely monitoring updates through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) related to COVID-19. At the request of the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado, we have closed all Denver Botanic Gardens locations indefinitely."
The zoo's decision is also based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Colorado, which has banned public gatherings of fifty or more people. Here's the zoo's full statement:
Based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Colorado restricting public gatherings of 50 or more people, Denver Zoo will close to the public at 4 p.m. today. All scheduled events and programs, including spring break camps, Up-Close Animal Encounters and community outreach programs, will be cancelled or rescheduled to a later date. The Zoo will continue to assess the situation, and reopen and resume normal operations at the appropriate time.
Denver Zoo is electing to close out of an abundance of caution and to do its part to help protect the community from further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Starting on Tuesday, March 17, the Zoo will enact new operational procedures that will close its gates to guests, but enable its operations staff to continue to work onsite to provide vital care to its nearly 3,000 animals and infrastructure. This includes the Zoo’s dedicated caretakers, nutrition specialists and veterinarians, who will continue to provide the highest standards of professional care and welfare for all animals onsite.
The Zoo invites the community to continue to experience, explore and learn about wild animals online through its website and social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.