Broomfield police officer tests positive for COVID-19 – The Denver Post

A Broomfield police officer has tested positive for COVID-19, City and County Manager Jennifer Hoffman reported at the Broomfield City Council meeting, which has prompted quarantines for police leadership and a member of the city manager’s office.

Broomfield has seen an increase over the 7-day average, from June 28 to July 5, of 19 positive cases, she said. As of Tuesday night, Broomfield reported 320 positive cases, according to the city’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard. It cites 42 hospitalizations, 30 deaths and more than 5,550 tests conducted.

On June 29, Broomfield reported 295 positive cases, which was 15 more than the week before, according to an email update from the city.

“We’re tracking it closely, obviously,” Hoffman said about the increase. “We have been unscathed from an employee perspective through the entire COVID crisis that’s been occurring until this week.”

The case was confirmed Monday, she said. Out of an “abundance of caution,” Broomfield is closing the community development front counter. While there has been no positive test from front desk staff, one is experiencing strong symptoms, Hoffman said, which the city is tracking closely as well.

“We’re not out of the first wave,” she said, even though some people think that’s the case.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s transmission level definitions, Broomfield falls under “medium.” That means 50 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks in the setting of stable or declining cases (excluding cases associated with outbreaks in residential facilities) and stable or declining average hospitalizations in the county’s referral hospitals for the last 14 days.

For counties with high testing rates, a two-week average positivity rate of less than 10% may be considered in lieu of two-week incidence data, according to the state. The state uses transmission levels to help determine variances for counties.

Broomfield anticipates a second wave mid-to-late August, she said, also referencing the national trends of rising cases. Virtual council meetings will continue until the city can get a better sense of direction from Public Health Director Jason Vahling. City and county leaders want to be sure decisions are made based on public health and with the safety of employees and the public in mind. Another thing to consider is flu season begins toward the end of August and into September.

Mayor Pro Tem Guyleen Castriotta, who wanted to hear an update from Broomfield’s Public Health Department, suggested council revisit passing mask regulations.

Ward 4 Councilwoman Kimberly Groom wanted to see what the week brings, but for now was not ready to make mask-wearing mandatory. A high percentage of people wear masks on their own, she said. She was willing to have the conversation next week and also requested data on counties that passed regulations and how they are performing as far as positive cases.

“I’m not quite sure what an order of something like this will be if there’s no law enforcement behind it,” Groom said.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Elizabeth Law-Evans agreed with Groom, suggesting Broomfield should be careful with implementing something without enforcement. She mentioned seeing a sign recently at a King Soopers that said masks were required by a local ordinance, even though Broomfield hasn’t passed one.

If the store can enforce that rule, it could be a tool for them, she said.

Ward 3 Councilman Deven Shaff expressed concern about the rise in cases. For a future public health update, he expressed interest in better understanding contact tracing — how and where local cases are spreading. Is it among families and friends, he asked, or spread across generations? Is it from indoor or outdoor interactions?

Agreeing with Castriotta, Ward 2 Councilman William Lindstedt pointed to Texas, where the state’s governor recently mandated face masks for most counties. It’s becoming clearer that masks reduce the spread, he said, and Broomfield should revisit a mandate.

He also felt the move could help keep business employees safe and shift some of the blame businesses are seeing from customers to the city since small businesses are “already dealing with so much.”

Groom also requested a detailed report be added to council’s agenda under special reports instead of verbal updates given during the council meeting. Hoffman confirmed staff could do that.

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