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With Packed Creek Banks, Coloradans Asked To 'Take This Virus Seriously'

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - As the weather warms up, Coloradans are hitting the creeks and rivers to cool off and get some fresh air. However, health officials are reminding people to follow social distancing guidelines after video showed Boulder Creek packed with people on Monday.

(credit: CBS)

"We heard it was going to be 90 degrees out today so we thought it would be a great day to go out to the creek," one woman who was at the Boulder Creek on Tuesday said.

While signs near the creek remind people to stay six feet apart, crowds packed the creek banks.

"I'd say we're not too worried about it," she said. "As college students I think there is a lot of intermingling going on most of the time."

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(credit: Boulder County Health)

Boulder County Health shared a video with CBS4 that captured a large crowd, people shoulder-to-shoulder, at Boulder Creek on Monday. Boulder County Health Executive Director, Jeff Zayach, released the following statement:

"I know it's been difficult, but the video of people clearly gathering along the creek not only shows groups larger than 10 people, but there was also not adequate social distancing. Situations like these not only violate the state and local public health orders, but they put our whole community, our businesses, and our economy at risk. Please remember that it takes up to 14 days before we see who will become sick and spread the disease from this large gathering of people along the creek. Please take this virus seriously and limit gatherings to 10 people or less and remain at least six feet from each other. Individual actions are putting our businesses and our most vulnerable in the community at further risk."

As crowds filled the Boulder Creek shores again on Tuesday, police were seen out monitoring alcohol consumption and pushing the importance of social distancing.

"We haven't been following the rules at all, which is worrisome because not a lot of people are," a college student told CBS4's Makenzie O'Keefe. "We are part of the issue, I'll admit that."

Boulder County Health said they were meeting with Boulder police on Tuesday to discuss education and enforcement of social distancing.

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(credit: CBS)

Over in Golden, many people also were enjoying the fresh air at Clear Creek on Tuesday. The creek is currently closed for water recreation, meaning that kayaking, tubing or swimming is prohibited. That is meant to protect those recreating without stretching resources for law enforcement or rescue crews during the pandemic.

There, most families were seen gathering at least six feet apart to safely enjoy the outdoors.

"That's why I chose the river, because were not around a lot of people," explained Nancy Stockbridge, who was sitting out at Clear Creek on Tuesday. "We try to maintain six feet distance, especially having a newborn. But I don't worry about us catching anything out in fresh air."

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