A Christian school in Loveland faces shutdown from the Colorado Health officials pending compliance to COVID-19 protocols.
CBN News said Resurrection Christian School was ordered by the state's health officials last Thursday to implement COVID-19 protocols or face being shutdown. The health officials have identified 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections in the school since August 17. This excludes 12 possible cases of infection.
The order was released by Larimer County Department of Public Health Director Thomas Gonzales and directed to Resurrection Christian School Superintendent Dr. Jerry Eschleman, the Board of Education, and the Board of Directors.
It mandates the school to "implement mitigation strategies to prevent spread of COVID-19 and to comply with law regarding inspection of schools and investigation control of outbreaks of communicable disease."
Released pursuant to the Colorado Revised Statutes and the Colorado Regulations, the order cited the authority of public health officials "to investigate and control the causes epidemic or of communicable diseases and conditions affecting public health" such as in a school as Resurrection's and to order its closure in order "to protect public health"
"LCDHE is concerned about the health of the students, staff, and visitors of RCS and the failure thus far to effectively implement any control measures. It has resulted in additional cases and unnecessary risk to those in the school," the order said.
"Maintaining in-person learning is the primary goal, but this cannot be possible if the outbreak continues and cases increase," it pointed out.
The order highlighted the several instances the school was notified numerous time via email on grade levels having "pre-outbreak and outbreak status" from August 24 to September 2. Most of the children affected were in the 6th grade.
The order then instructs the school to implement masking mandates on all students, staff, faculty, and visitors "regardless of vaccination status, for a period of no less than 14 days" alongside the practice of social distancing for in-person schooling. The school is also required to conduct contract tracing, compile vaccination status with seating charts and rosters for all students, and cohort students.
However, should the said measures still prove ineffective in curtailing the rise of cases in the school, then the county department would have to enforce its closure as protection of the public.
"If additional measures such as wearing masks, increased distancing and improving ventilation are not effective in stopping an increase in cases, a closure would be the next step to protect public health," Larimer County Department of Public Health Spokesperson Kori Wilford disclosed in an interview with the Coloradan.
In line with the order, Eschleman has already briefed the school on its contents and the measures they will take in line with their COVID-19 cases through an email containing a copy of the order and through a video released in his personal YouTube Channel on September 4. The video, entitled "Sept 4 Timely COVID updates & clarifications," made clarifications on the contents of the order to the school body and detailed statistics on their cases of infection.
Eschleman acknowledged the Delta variant's speed of spread and explained the state's coding status for outbreak situations for schools. Though he cited the order being "excessive" in its directives, he nonetheless urged the parents to cooperate in its compliance but stressed their freedom not to do so.
"I want to encourage you when it comes to compliance," Eshleman stressed. "But your compliance, as always, is up to you. We encourage you to participate and to comply, but it is up to you to make those choices."