Sep 24, 2020
Denver officials announced today that a public health order has been issued to stop the recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases at institutes of higher learning.
The public health order from the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) is in response to the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases, due in part to groups of students congregating in violation of the gathering limits established in CDPHE PHO 20-35.
“The risk of continuing to spread this deadly virus is real and made even more evident by the abrupt spike in cases on and near college campuses,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “We are committed to working with institutes of higher learning to help reduce this risk, but if these measures are not successful, we will not hesitate to look at other options.”
On September 23, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) updated its weekly outbreak report to include 10 active outbreaks linked to colleges and universities around the state – including one at Regis University, one at Metro State University, and eight at the University of Denver – as coronavirus infections also sharply increased among college-aged people.
“We need to address this surge at colleges and universities immediately by implementing additional public health controls in close collaboration with their leadership,” said Robert McDonald, Executive Director of DDPHE. “We are counting on students and campuses to comply with this order quickly and do their part to keep themselves and the Denver community safe.”
According to the order, institutes of higher education are required to complete each of the following:
In addition, DDPHE recommends that institutes of higher education voluntarily suspend all nonessential in-person extracurricular social activities sponsored or supported by the college or university.
If these measures are not successful in reducing the spread, DDPHE will consider additional preventive actions, including quarantine and isolation orders, requiring virtual classes, and imposing a Stay at Home Order.
For more up-to-date information from the City and County of Denver regarding COVID-19, visit the Official Site.