BOULDER, Colo. —
In less than a week, 108 Boulder County residents, most of them college-aged people, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Boulder County Public Health (BCPH).
The new cases were reported between Thursday, June 11 and 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 17. The majority of new cases are among people living in the Hill neighborhood, although that does not represent all of the new cases, according to BCPH.
Some of the newly-infected people reported recently traveling out-of-state in addition to attending large gatherings in Boulder. One person diagnosed with COVID-19 reported attending a protest march in Boulder on June 5.
BCPH advises anyone who attended parties in the Hill neighborhood the week of May 25 and the June 5 protest to quarantine for 14 days since possible exposure, monitor symptoms and get tested for COVID-19.
“It’s important to remember that this virus is still active in our community and we all need to take personal responsibility to follow the orders and guidance," Jeff Zayach, BCPH executive director, said. "Our personal actions can have social, economic, and health consequences for the entire community."
The cases represent a reversal in the trend in Boulder County, which prior to last week had the second-lowest new case rate in the Metro Denver area. As of Wednesday morning, the county has the third-highest increase in new cases just after Denver and Adams counties.
“Regardless of where you live, this increase in cases can affect you,” said Carol Helwig, the BCPH communicable disease control program manager. “If there was ever a time to choose to stay home, now is the time. If you have to go out, continue to be very diligent about social distancing, wearing a face covering, and washing your hands.”
Bars will be allowed to open Thursday. Restaurants have already been open for weeks.
In Boulder, the department of public health credits restaurant owners like Dakota Soifer for opening responsibly. They haven’t seen a spike in cases from in-person dining starting up again.
"Restaurants are in the business of providing a clean healthy space, even in the best of times. We don’t want anybody to get sick," said Soifer, owner of Cafe Aion in Boulder. "Especially now, it seems like folks feel just more comfortable, safety-wise, socially distancing sitting outside."
Cafe Aion now has outdoor seating that spills out on to the sidewalk and closed-down street outside. They also have hand sanitizer at the front of the restaurant.
"Before you’d hide all of the cleaning supplies. Now we have hand sanitizer when you walk in," said Soifer. "An interesting change of times."
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
Current data suggests person-to-person transmission most commonly happens during close exposure (e.g. within six feet) to a person infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, primarily via respiratory droplets produced when the infected person speaks, coughs, or sneezes. Droplets can land in the mouth, nose, or eyes or possibly be inhaled into the lungs of those within close proximity. Transmission may also happen by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.
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