BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – There is a new spike in COVID-19 cases at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Cases have been detected in four dorms, two sororities and one fraternity.
Freshman Sam Phillips, and a lot of students like him, are getting a rude introduction to college life. Besides studying, they are spitting into tubes to check for the virus.
“It’s somewhat of a bummer, but I guess life happens,” Phillips said.
His dorm, one of the Darley towers, has been identified as a location where the the virus has been traced — through testing in the wastewater.
Scott Pribble, a CU spokesman, says the sewage water is only a broad first step.
“The wastewater testing is only for the building itself, that’s why we have to do the saliva test to narrow it to specific people.”
The spike in cases comes after photos from student Miles Levin showed groups of people enjoying nightlife in the off-campus area known as The Hill and at large parties at homes.
Phillips frowned on the practice.
“Obviously I agree, [they] shouldn’t do that, shouldn’t be doing that and I just think it’s inevitable.”
Masks are required on campus and social distancing is urged. But coronavirus has found its way into this university, further threatening on-campus life.
Those students whose saliva indicates positive will be required to undergo a nasal swab test. Contact tracing would then take place if the swab confirms the presence of the virus.
Gov. Jared Polis called out fraternities at CU for “reckless behavior.”
“I want to address the disappointing, inexcusable actions of a small minority of students, including several fraternities and CU Boulder, that contrary to what their own national fraternity organizations said that they should do — still held illegal large parties over the weekend,” Polis said Thursday.
“Many of our higher education students in Colorado care deeply about the community. They know their actions affect themselves and their loved ones, and to the vast majority of college and community college students across the state who are taking precautions, I want to say thank you, as your governor, for doing the right thing,” Polis stated. “But unfortunately it only takes a few bad apples, a few bad decisions to set a whole community back.”
“I hope that students across the state, young people across the state, hear me loud and clear. This is not a joke,” Polis said. “We’ve lost nearly 2,000 of our fellow Coloradans to this virus.”
“Now is not the time to party, there’ll be plenty of time to party in months and years ahead,” Polis added.