Coronavirus

Colorado, COVID and Whether Predicted Declines Are Actually Happening

Garden Square of Greeley, an assisted-living facility in Weld County, is experiencing its sixth outbreak of COVID-19.
Garden Square of Greeley, an assisted-living facility in Weld County, is experiencing its sixth outbreak of COVID-19. Google Maps
Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health announced that its latest COVID-19 modeling report indicated that "infections will continue to decline over the next six-to-eight weeks despite the expected increase in contact rates among people with the beginning of the new school year." But the most recent virus statistics from the CDPHE contain plenty of information that contradicts that forecast, including some higher-than-expected case counts and rising numbers of both hospitalizations and outbreaks.

Here are the latest numbers from the CDPHE in major categories, updated after 4 p.m. yesterday, August 31. They're juxtaposed with data from our previous COVID-19 roundup, which drew from August 24 stats.

1,631,016 cases (up 6,200 from August 23)
67,981 hospitalized (up 251 from August 23)
13,166 deaths among cases (up 29 from August 23)
13,891 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 33 from August 23)
9,661 outbreaks (up 38 from August 23)

Four takeaways:

• The new-case count of 6,200 for the week ending August 30, the most recent day for which figures are available, doesn't show a notable drop-off over the past month or so. Furthermore, the 1,094 infections revealed on August 30 marked the second recent day in which the total entered four-digit territory; the first was August 25, with 1,166 cases.

• The 251 hospitalizations tallied for the past seven days was fueled by a daily admission rate of 52 patients during that period — similar to the number in recent weeks. But the 195 people hospitalized for COVID-19 for the week of August 30 is slightly higher than the 184 for the same period through August 23.

• The 29 deaths among cases of COVID-19 and 33 fatalities in which the disease was the specific cause reflect drops from the previous week.

• The state's seven-day-average positivity rate of 6.17 percent on August 30 dipped from 6.55 percent on August 23 — closer to the 5 percent level that the CDPHE prefers not to exceed. But because fewer results are being shared with state health reps owing to the prevalence of at-home testing, this metric is less meaningful than earlier in the pandemic. Meanwhile, COVID-19 samples sequenced by the agency haven't been updated since the week of July 24, when 86.86 percent of cases were linked to Omicron 5, 6.29 percent to Omicron 4 and 4.57 to Omicron 3, with smaller percentages associated with other subvariants.

Wastewater surveillance confirms the dominance of Omicron 5. The subvariant was found in 45 of 55 places the CDPHE is monitoring statewide during the week of August 15, and the ten exceptions yielded no samples, an amount deemed insufficient for analysis.

These days, the CDPHE is tracking outbreaks at a very small percentage of establishments compared to earlier in the pandemic — mainly health-care facilities that specialize in senior care. Nonetheless, the number of new or tweaked outbreaks bumped up substantially, going from 23 on August 24 to 37 on August 31. All but two on that roster have had previous outbreaks, including Garden Square of Greeley, an assisted-living facility seen at the top of this post. The latest outbreak is its seventh, following previous spreads in November 2020, March 2021, November 2021, January 2022, June 2022 and July 2022.

Here are the 37 new or tweaked outbreaks identified by the CDPHE, including information about categories, county of origin, and the date when the spread was officially recognized. The department no longer provides information about the overall number of infections or deaths and whether they pertain to residents, staff members or attendees.

1. AltaVita Memory Care Center (23H130): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 8/26/2022
2. Amberwood Court Rehabilitation and Care Community (020460): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 8/18/2022
3. Assured Assisted Living 9 (23V725): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 8/26/2022
4. Assured Senior Living Arvada (23Y383): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 8/24/2022
5. Autumn Heights Health Care Center (020405): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 8/26/2022
6. Bear Creek Center (020435): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 8/10/2022
7. Beatrice Hover Assisted Living Residence (230383): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 8/25/2022
8. Brookside Inn (0205US): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 8/25/2022
9. Christopher House Rehab and Care (020472): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 8/24/2022
10. Clear Creek Care Center (020401): August 2022 Healthcare - Skilled Nursing Adams 8/17/2022
11. Columbine Manor Care Center (020698): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Chaffee County, 8/23/2022
12. Desert Willow Health and Rehabilitation Center (020675): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Pueblo County, 8/16/2022
13. Discovery Learning Center: August 2022, Child Care Center, Routt County, 8/16/2022
14. Flatirons Health and Rehab (02H512): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 8/24/2022
15. Florence Care Home (23068G): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Fremont County, 8/23/2022
16. Garden Plaza of Aurora (23O623): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 8/29/2022
17. Garden Square of Greeley (2303DK): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 8/19/2022
18. Good Samaritan Society Water Valley Senior Living Resort (23V721): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 8/26/2022
19. Grand Junction Regional Center — House 1 (061162): August 2022, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Mesa County, 8/16/2022
20. Hillcrest Care Center (020197): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Yuma County, 8/24/2022
21. Larchwood Inns (0211OZ): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Mesa County, 8/23/2022
22. Legacy Village of Castle Pines (23O530): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Douglas County, 8/24/2022
23. Life Care Center of Stonegate (02C450): August 2022 #2, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 8/29/2022
24. Mesa View Retirement Home Inc (231289): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Montezuma County, 8/16/2022
25. MorningStar of Boulder (23F542): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 8/17/2022
26. North Division Residential Center (050105): August 2022, Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Logan County, 8/24/2022
27. Promedica Total Rehab+ Lakewood (02A935): May 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 5/24/2022
28. Pueblo Regional Center — House B (020662): August 2022, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Pueblo County, 8/17/2022
29. Pueblo Regional Center — House F (020662): August 2022, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Pueblo County, 8/9/2022
30. Sedgwick County Memorial Nursing Home (020199): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Sedgwick County, 8/25/2022
31. Senior Living at the Pinery LLC (23W266), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Douglas County, 8/29/2022
32. St Paul Health Center (020448): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 8/24/2022
33. The Bridge Community Inc (050403): August 2022, Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Denver County, 8/16/2022
34. The Manor on Marston Lake (2304OJ): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 8/23/2022
35. UCHealth Grandkids Daycare, Child Care Center, Routt County, 8/30/2022
36. Washington County Nursing Home (020162): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Washington County, 8/1/2022
37. Wheat Ridge Regional Center — House R (060408): August 2022, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Jefferson County, 8/30/2022
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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