Public health officials are threatening to shut down Resurrection Christian School (RCS) in Loveland, Colorado if the school fails to comply with state COVID-19 protocols.
In an order issued last Thursday, public health officials call on RCS to implement several steps following a recent COVID-19 outbreak at the school, where 36 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus. Twelve others are believed to have possibly fallen ill with COVID-19 since the school year started on Aug. 17.
According to the protocols, the school must implement universal masking for all staff, students, and visitors for at least two weeks or through Sept. 26, or until the outbreak is resolved. Additionally, the Christian school must implement social distancing guidelines in and outside of the classroom and create seating charts, rosters and lists indicating the vaccination status of all students and staff.
As reported by CBN News, RCS must also “conduct contract tracing for quarantine of all close contacts” for those who have not been fully vaccinated or who tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of a reported confirmed illness.
“LCDHE is concerned about the health of the students, staff, and visitors of RCS and the failure thus far to effectively implement any control measures. It has resulted in additional cases and unnecessary risk to those in the school,” the public health order states in part. “Maintaining in-person learning is the primary goal, but this cannot be possible if the outbreak continues and cases increase.”
Kori Wilford, a spokesperson for the County Health Department, noted that if the school refuses to implement the protocol, then “it would be risking the opportunity for the outbreak to expand and impact the health and safety of students and staff. “
“If additional measures such as wearing masks, increased distancing and improving ventilation are not effective in stopping an increase in cases, a closure would be the next step to protect public health,” she warned, according to the Coloradoan.
The school’s superintendent, Jerry Eshleman, however, argues that the decision for masks and vaccination of the children should be left up to the parents.
“RCS proudly supports its parents’ rights to make the decisions you feel (are) best for your children,” he said in an email last week. “We are not a place of public accommodation. We are a private, Christian school and operate outside of the public school model and domain.”
Eshleman also asserted that students have thanked him for keeping the school open.
At present, RCS has sought legal counsel and is discussing the matter with county attorneys.
Photo courtesy: Jeswin Thomas/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.