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Health

University Of Colorado Students Face New Restrictions To Stem COVID-19 Transmission

Aerial shot of the University of Colorado Boulder campus.
Nshervsampad
/
CC BY-SA 4.0
File photo of the University of Colorado Boulder's main campus taken in Sept. 2015.

Public health officials are responding to an increase in COVID-19 cases in young people in the state, especially among students at the University of Colorado Boulder. Students on the main CU campus are now under a mandatory stay-at-home order until Sept. 29.

The spike in cases at CU Boulder has sparked concern from county and state health officials. The university has reported 441 cases since the school year began Aug. 24, and 338 people tested positive within the last two weeks.

Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano said in a newsletter that 71% of cases are off-campus and 29% are on-campus. As a result, officials are encouraging students who live off-campus to visit a new testing site on University Hill.

He also said university officials have found that the most common factors in virus transmission include large gatherings in Greek life and on University Hill, and a failure to wear masks.

CU also announced new punishments for students caught throwing parties. They include: exclusion from campus for two weeks, probation, required participation in educational sanctions or suspension from the university.

The university reports 422 students have been referred for student code of conduct violations for not following public health orders, so far.

“We are cooperating fully with Boulder County Public Health for the health and safety of everyone in our community,” said DiStefano. “The next several days are critical for us to avoid more stringent restrictions on our campus operations. We need more students to do their part and follow public health guidelines at this important moment.”

Boulder County Public Health officials have quarantined residents at four sorority houses. In a letter, they report more stringent and mandatory restrictions will be imposed if students do not comply and break the transmission cycle.

BCPH public information officer Chana Goussetis said their main goal is to prevent transmission into more vulnerable populations in the city.

“Fortunately, we’re not seeing any indications of transmission from these young people to the general population,“ she said. “But as you know, as it spread exponentially it will eventually get to the rest of our residents. So, that is a primary concern for us.“

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