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Business owners in Boulder County worry that university outbreak could spell financial trouble

Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 20:41:48-04

BOULDER, Colo. -- As COVID-19 numbers continue to spike in Boulder County, data show that an overwhelming number of cases involve students at the University of Colorado Boulder. On Sunday, of the 202 new cases in the county, 174 of the cases involved students or faculty.

This week, 14 students at CU Boulder face suspension for violating COVID-19 protocol at the school. The school is also moving all classes online to slow the spread.

"I think it is important for college students to understand that just because you want to have fun doesn’t mean you should put the entire county at risk," said CU Boulder student Elizabeth Mather. At the beginning of the year, she says, "was kind of just an explosion of people getting to see their friends again and having parties."

Now the surrounding community is facing potential consequences.

"Once I heard about the spike, I started wondering if we are going to get shut down again, which is going to be really rough," said Connie Minden, the founder of nonprofit store Ramble on Pearl. "If we have to shut down again, I am not sure what that is going to mean."

The spike is still relatively contained within the student population at CU Boulder. But business owners worry that the disease could easily spread off-campus. In a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis said there will currently be no increase in COVID-19 restrictions.

"Right now, there is not that evidence that the student outbreaks have led to a greater community-wide outbreak," said Polis. "We look forward to working with University of Colorado, their president, their chancellor, and their regents to help contain the outbreak before it spreads to the broader community."