JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Jefferson County Public Health has filed a lawsuit against three schools after it has been determined they have violated a COVID-19 public health order and will not follow mask mandates.
The county currently requires masks indoors at all schools and child care facilities. The schools in question are Beth Eden Baptist School, Augustine Classical Academy and Faith Christian Academy.
It claims the schools prevented health inspectors from going into school buildings to investigate.
As part of its argument calling for an injunction, JCPH says COVID-19 cases for school-aged children are more than six times the case number a year ago.
Jefferson County Public Health released this statement to CBS4 on Monday: After extensive effort to provide education and support to ensure compliance with PHO 21-002, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) has taken legal action against three schools (Faith Christian Academy, Augustine Classical Academy and Beth Eden Baptist School) to ensure compliance with the Order. Non-compliance places students, teachers, staff, and their families at increased risk of COVID-19 and also jeopardizes continued in-person learning.
Our approach to all Public Health Orders, including PHO 21-002, is to provide education and support to obtain voluntary compliance, and to only pursue legal options when all other options to ensure compliance are exhausted. We cannot comment further as this litigation is pending.
Faith Christian Academy released this statement to CBS4 on Monday: The allegations against FCA are demonstrably false. In particular, JCPH alleges FCA has not complied with the current public health orders, but that is not true. FCA has and will continue to comply with those orders, even though some experts believe they were not lawfully entered.
This lawsuit is unfortunate for our community, especially during these already stressful times for families. We believe the role of JCPH should be to help the public navigate health issues instead of using tax dollars to launch unfounded and baseless lawsuits against religious organizations who are committed to helping people and families.