CU Boulder

Coronavirus cases among the University of Colorado’s flagship campus have spiked again of late, though they’re still below the outbreak identified earlier this fall.

But officials warned the community Tuesday to remain “vigilant” and said police responded to roughly 20 parties over Halloween weekend.

Leaders from the university and the local health department reiterated an increasing common refrain from officials across the state: “COVID fatigue” is contributing to spikes, which in turn could overwhelm hospitals and force stronger shutdowns.

Metrics in Boulder County indicate the area is heading toward those tighter restrictions, though they haven’t been officially downgraded, as Denver and other counties have.

“At some point the state will move us if we cannot move our numbers,” said Jeff Zayach, the executive director of the county health department.

He said controlling the virus will “come down to all of us.”

Interim executive vice chancellor Patrick O’Rourke said police responded to 20 parties in Boulder over the weekend and issued eight citations for violating public health orders.

They also responded to 16 noise complaints, O’Rourke said.

“This is not acceptable,” he said. “We’ve made very clear to our student body that they need to be following the county public health directives under our code of conduct. What we saw over the weekend is not OK.”

He said the university is investigating and will mete out discipline.

CU has confirmed several hundred cases over the past week. This spike is below the jump in September, when there were more than 1,400 cases.

Officials said tailgating is prohibited at Saturday’s football game, and attendance will be tightly restricted to immediate family members of players.

O’Rourke said he’s predicting more cases to come amid students related to those parties over Halloween weekend.

Still, to date, officials said the virus hasn’t spread within classrooms.

As officials across the state have for weeks, the university and county health leaders pleaded with families, students and the community at large to continue masking, social distancing, avoiding gatherings and washing hands.

The county is nearly at its peak hospitalizations — 60 now versus a high of 68 in the spring.

Zayach pointed to spread associated with Labor Day and the Fourth of July weekends as evidence that whenever gatherings occur, spikes follow.

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