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Boulder issues quarantine orders for nine houses, fraternities

Officials say residents showed 'blatant disregard' of COVID-19 public health orders

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house is is one of nine properties that have been placed under quarantine for what Boulder officials called “blatant disregard of public health orders” related to the coronavirus. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house is is one of nine properties that have been placed under quarantine for what Boulder officials called “blatant disregard of public health orders” related to the coronavirus. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
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Boulder officials have issued a mandatory quarantine order for nine addresses, most associated with Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Sigma fraternities, for “blatant disregard of public health orders” related to the coronavirus.

People living at the nine addresses must remain at home for the next two weeks except to attend in-person classes or athletic training, go to work, vote, obtain medical care or for other essential services that can’t be delivered.

“The majority of our students have done a great job complying with public health orders,” City Manager Jane Brautigam said in a statement. “Unfortunately, a very small percentage of our student population has continued to gather socially and have not been responsive to voluntary compliance requests and existing health orders. Their behavior jeopardizes not only their lives, but also the lives and livelihoods of their neighbors and the rest of the Boulder community.”

Houses associated with Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Sigma have been cited by the Boulder Police Department for violating public health orders by hosting large gatherings. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which is affiliated with the Interfraternity Council on the Hill, is currently under cease and desist orders from the organization that prevents any gatherings or official activities.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon went through a Judicial Board hearing this week and IFC Greek Advocate Marc Stine said sanctions against the fraternity will be reported pending an appeal to the IFC President’s Table.

“The city is reacting to the same incident that IFC reacted to almost immediately with a cease and desist order to the chapter,” Stine said, referring to the Oct. 11 party at a house associated with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. “We’re on it. We can’t put people in quarantine, but we can do other things.”

Kappa Sigma is not affiliated with IFC on the Hill or with CU Boulder, and its national organization did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

The addresses under quarantine are:

  • 1100 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • 1142 11th St.
  • 951 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • 1037 12th St.
  • 1031 14th St.
  • 1033 14th St.
  • 1045 14th St.
  • 1059 14th St.
  • 510 S. 44th St.

Violating the order could result in up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Several of the properties are already undergoing the city’s nuisance abatement process, said spokesperson Shannon Aulabaugh, and because it’s in civil court it does not happen immediately.

“Our goal is to utilize every tool available to put an end to this egregious behavior,” she said. “We know large parties are a source of threat because these offenders then interact in our community and spread the disease.”

Any additional properties that violate public health orders will immediately be put under a mandatory two-week quarantine, Aulabaugh said.

“We know moving into Halloween and the colder weather, things happening outdoors are going to move indoors and this behavior cannot continue,” she said.

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