BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Large crowds of people gathered Tuesday along Boulder Creek on the city of Boulder’s west side. The gathering created public health dangers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Boulder County Public Health Department called the mass gathering a violation of public health orders. People were not wearing masks or practicing physical distancing. While critical of the illegal gathering, the county’s health department and city police did nothing to stop it.
“Today’s been perfect, man,” one participant said. “Weather has been great.”
People who have been cooped up for weeks said they could not resist the cool water and sunshine.
Boulder city and county officials met Tuesday in an effort to figure out how to handle the situation.
The county health department says it partners with Boulder police to enforce orders. The city says its officers have only been focused on education so far. But many along the creek on Tuesday said they don’t need an education. Their minds are already made up and they believe public health officials are “blowing things out of proportion.”
Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health executive director, issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“I know it’s been difficult, but the video of people clearly gathering along the creek not only shows groups larger than 10 people, but there was also not adequate social distancing. Situations like these not only violate the state and local public health orders, but they put our whole community, our businesses, and our economy at risk. Please remember that it takes up to 14 days before we see who will become sick and spread the disease from this large gathering of people along the creek. Please take this virus seriously and limit gatherings to 10 people or less and remain at least six feet from each other. Individual actions are putting our businesses and our most vulnerable in the community at further risk.”
The Boulder Police Department sent the following statement:
“The Boulder Police Department is continuing to focus on a strong educational approach that emphasizes wearing a facial covering and practicing proper physical distancing of six feet. The City is actively exploring additional ways we can address the current public health and safety concerns.”