A Christian school in Colorado has agreed to implement various measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 among its students and staff after receiving an order from local health officials threatening closure if steps aren't taken.
Resurrection Christian School of Loveland garnered national headlines when it received an order from Larimer County officials stating that it must implement various COVID-19 protocols or face the possibility of being shut down.
Kori Wilford, a spokesperson with the Larimer County Health Department, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that the school and local officials were working together to implement the protocols.
“RCS is working with our team to implement practices and protocols designed to keep as many students and staff learning and working safely, in person, while the outbreak resolves,” detailed Wilford.
“The best practices required of RCS are proven strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and stop the current climb in cases associated with the outbreak. The hope is that by implementing these measures quickly, the risk to students, staff, and visitors to the school will be reduced and in person learning can continue.”
Wilford said that while the county order demanded that the school implement these protocols by Monday, the county agreed to a deadline extension.
“These practices were to be implemented Monday, 9/13, and upon RCS letting us know they could not meet that, we granted them a short extension,” Wilford continued.
The Christian Post reached out to Resurrection Christian School. However, the private school did not respond by press time.
Resurrection Christian School experienced a coronavirus outbreak earlier this month, with at least 40 positive cases being reported by local media.
According to a report by Loveland Reporter-Herald last week, Resurrection Christian was refusing to comply with demands that they implement COVID-19 protocols, such as masking and social distancing.
Measures that the county demanded to be implemented as part of a mitigation effort included mandatory face coverings for students and staff, as well as maintaining 3 feet of social distancing. The order also called on the school to cohort students, compile seating charts and vaccination status of students and conduct contract tracing for quarantine purposes.
“RCS is refusing to work with and communicate with public health staff,” stated the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment in a statement.
“They are not implementing practices and protocols designed to keep as many students and staff learning and working safely, in-person, while the outbreak resolves.”
Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales sent a highly publicized letter last Thursday to the school, demanding that the school work with the county or face closure.
The order stated that state regulations require each county to "investigate and control the causes of epidemic or communicable diseases and conditions affecting public health." Additionally, the order argued that the county has authority to "To close schools and public places and to prohibit gatherings of people when necessary to protect public health."
“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,” wrote Gonzales at the time.
“Maintaining in-person learning is the primary goal, but this cannot be possible if the outbreak continues and cases increase.”
Resurrection Christian had earlier rejected the county's demands to implement safety protocols. In an email sent to families, the school's Superintendent Jerry Eshleman argued that the county had "no authority" over the private institution. According to The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Eshleman told the school community on Sept. 7 that it had obtained legal counsel and would not require masks or other safety protocols.