Boulder issues summons over CU football team hike on Mount Sanitas

Posted at 4:56 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-20 05:22:45-04

BOULDER, Colo. — The University of Colorado Boulder's director of football operations was issued a summons over a team hike on Mount Sanitas, where more than 100 people involved with the program were seen hiking together, according to a city news release.

Bryan McGinnis, the football team's operations director, was issued a summons for failure to obtain a large group permit and violating a public health order.

The decision from the city comes as Boulder and university officials are upping enforcement action to contain the spread of COVID-19 on the campus.

Boulder Open Space and Mountain Park rangers were notified of the team hike Thursday and saw that many of the people on the hike weren't wearing masks or staying socially distant.

A CU staffer told officials that a total of 108 people were in the group, violating the park's requirement for groups of 24 or more to have a special permit.

The city said CU officials cooperated with rangers on Thursday.

CU athletics director Rick George said in a statement Thursday that all of the student-athletes who took part in the hike — which was part of team training — had recently tested negative for COVID-19.

"All of this said, we acknowledge the lapse in judgement and apologize for our football team partaking in a group activity like this on public open space amid the current COVID-19 climate," George said in the statement. "We share in the community’s concern and anxiety about the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, and we do not tolerate actions that are contrary to public health orders."

Face coverings are required on city trails where six feet of social distancing can't be maintained. Groups of 10 or more are not allowed city lands.

The city earlier this week put a CU fraternity annex residence under a mandatory 14-day quarantine due to repeated health violations.

Residents at that address must stay home, except to attend class and leave for other essential services. If they violate the city order, they can face up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The university is working to contain COVID-19 on campus, where cases have been on the rise in the last 10 days.

On Friday, in an effort to increase the amount of space needed to isolate students who tested positive for COVID-19, all residents of CU Boulder dorm were directed to move.

Students living in the Darley North Hall, which stands out as one of the tallest buildings in the city of Boulder, received a letter from the school's housing department about the change on Thursday. Students were directed to move out by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday was asked if he would consider shutting the college down, if cases continue to grow.

Polis said it was "critical" the university contains the spread of coronavirus but that it would not be constructive to send students home.

"That would be very dangerous" if students returned home from CU, Polis said.

On Tuesday, Boulder County Public Health issued a letter saying it strongly recommends all CU Boulder students self-quarantine for two weeks to contain the outbreak.