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Colorado COVID-19 Inmate Body Count: 12,000 Infections, 31 Deaths

The entrance to the Sterling Correctional Center, where ten inmates have died of COVID-19.
The entrance to the Sterling Correctional Center, where ten inmates have died of COVID-19.
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The terrible impact of COVID-19 has been felt by almost every institution in Colorado. But none has been hit harder than the state's prison system, whose inability to keep inmates and employees safe from the novel coronavirus is among the most profound public-health failures of the pandemic.

According to new data just released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, more than 12,000 inmates have been infected and 31 have died — essentially receiving the death penalty no matter the crime for which they were convicted. And while the CDPHE lists no staffers at Colorado prisons or jails among the fatalities, more than 2,300 employees have contracted COVID-19, too.

The department continues to monitor active outbreaks at ten prisons and jails in the state, where current inmate infections are nearing 2,000 and staff cases have topped 500 — and counting.

Each Wednesday since April 15, 2020, the CDPHE has issued a report about outbreaks in the state, and it did so again on June 16. But on the first of this month, the department officially changed the definition of an outbreak from two cases to five in most settings. As a result, the number of new outbreaks plummeted to just fifteen over the previous week — 352 active outbreaks and 5,119 considered resolved, for a total of 5,471 over the past year-plus.

However, the health department is still using its previous standard at correctional facilities, "as outbreaks in these settings may have more severe outcomes," it says — and that's certainly proven to be the case. Of the 31 inmate deaths, ten were at a single prison, the Sterling Correctional Center, where more than 1,500 residents tested positive. And there have been outbreaks at more than seventy other correctional facilities to date.

The largest outbreaks under active investigation involve the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center (1,165 resident cases, 136 staff cases) and Denver's Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center (1,158 resident cases, 108 staff cases). And there are many other examples of major spread at now-resolved outbreaks, such as the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility (580 resident cases, 94 staff cases, 3 resident deaths), the Fremont Correctional Facility (780 resident cases, 127 staff cases, 4 resident deaths), the Arkansas Valley Correction Facility (945 resident cases, 99 staff cases, 4 resident deaths), and the Bent County Correctional Facility (1,091 resident cases, 97 staff cases, 2 resident deaths).

By our count, total resident infections at prisons and jails during the pandemic currently stands at 12,049, including 1,859 associated with active outbreaks and the aforementioned 31 deaths. The staff sum is presently 2,356, with 562 at active outbreak sites.

Here are all of the reported outbreaks at Colorado prisons and jails, divided into active and resolved; details include the dates investigations began and ended, and the type of people affected.

Active outbreaks

Adams County Sheriff's Detention Facility, Jail, Adams County, 12/17/2020, 266 resident cases, 3 staff cases
Buena Vista Correctional Complex: April 2021, State Prison, Chaffee County, 4/20/2021, 9 resident cases, 21 staff cases
Centennial Correctional Facility: October 2020 , State Prison, Fremont County, 10/22/2020, 201 resident cases, 136 staff cases
Denver County Jail: April 2021, Jail, Denver County, 4/30/2021, 20 resident cases, 2 staff cases
El Paso County Criminal Justice Center, Jail, El Paso County, 10/27/2020, 1,165 resident cases, 136 staff cases
Fremont Correctional Facility: April 2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 4/30/2021, 14 resident cases, 19 staff cases
Garfield County Detention Center, Jail, Garfield County, 4/7/2021, 21 resident cases, 14 staff cases
Pueblo Detention Center, Jail, Pueblo County, 11/9/2020, 476 resident cases, 113 staff cases
Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center, Jail, Denver County, 4/30/2020, 1,158 resident cases, 108 staff cases
Youthful Offender Systems: May 2021, State Prison, Pueblo County, 5/10/2021, 7 resident cases, 10 staff cases

Resolved outbreaks

Alamosa County Detention Facility, Resolved 2/23/2021, Jail, Alamosa County, 1/28/2021, 2 resident cases
Arapahoe County Detention Facility, Resolved 3/31/2021, Jail, Arapahoe County, 12/3/2020, 263 resident cases, 7 staff cases
Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility: February 2021, Resolved 5/27/2021, State Prison, Crowley County, 2/25/2021, 25 resident cases, 17 staff cases
Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility: November 2020, Resolved 2/3/2021, State Prison, Crowley County, 11/2/2020, 945 resident cases, 99 staff cases, 4 resident deaths
Arrowhead Correctional Center, Resolved 1/29/2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 11/9/2020, 360 resident cases, 52 staff cases, 1 resident death
Bent County Correctional Facility, Resolved 4/14/2021, State Prison, Bent County, 11/18/2020, 1,091 resident cases, 97 staff cases, 2 resident deaths
Boulder County Jail: December 2020 Resolved 4/20/2021, Jail, Boulder County, 12/21/2020, 56 resident cases, 16 staff cases
Boulder County Jail: July 2020, Resolved 8/18/2020, Jail, Boulder County, 7/21/2020, 2 resident cases
Boulder County Jail: May 2021, Resolved 5/27/2021, Jail, Boulder County, 5/15/2021, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case
Broomfield Detention Center, Resolved 2/4/2021, Jail, Broomfield County, 12/22/2020, 20 resident cases, 7 staff cases
Buena Vista Correctional Complex: October 2020, Resolved 2/17/2021, State Prison, Chaffee County, 10/21/2020, 314 resident cases, 58 staff cases, 1 resident death
Buena Vista Correctional Complex: February 2021, Resolved 4/7/2021, State Prison, Chaffee County, 2/24/2021, 11 resident cases, 16 staff cases
Buena Vista Correctional Complex: July 2020, Resolved 9/15/2020, State Prison, Chaffee County, 7/10/2020, 197 resident cases, 16 staff cases
Centennial Correctional Facility: July 2020, Resolved 9/7/2020, State Prison, Fremont County, 7/29/2020, 11 resident cases, 1 staff case
Chaffee County Jail, Resolved 5/4/2021, Jail, Chaffee County, 4/4/2021, 24 resident cases, 7 staff cases, 1 resident death
Clear Creek County Jail, Resolved 4/20/2021, Jail, Clear Creek County, 3/22/2021, 6 resident cases
Colorado Correctional Center, Resolved 6/5/2021, State Prison, Jefferson County, 4/26/2021, 3 resident cases, 2 staff cases
Colorado State Penitentiary: July 2020, Resolved 8/20/2020, State Prison, Fremont County, 7/15/2021, 28 resident cases, 13 staff cases
Colorado State Penitentiary: November 2020, Resolved 3/25/2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 11/20/2020, 128 resident cases, 77 staff cases
Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility: April 2021, Resolved 5/27/2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 5/3/2021, 2 resident cases, 16 staff cases
Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility: October 2020, Resolved 3/22/2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 10/28/2020, 580 resident cases, 94 staff cases, 3 resident deaths
Crowley County Correctional Facility: May 2020, Resolved 7/20/2020, State Prison, Crowley County, 5/2/2020, 66 resident cases, 4 staff cases
Crowley County Correctional Facility: November 2020, Resolved 4/29/2021, State Prison, Crowley County, 10/16/2020, 859 resident cases, 51 staff cases, 1 resident death
Delta Correctional Center: March 2021, Resolved 4/22/2021, State Prison, Delta County, 3/26/2021, 2 resident cases, 4 staff cases
Delta Correctional Center: November 2020, Resolved 3/13/2021, State Prison, Delta County, 11/20/2020, 161 resident cases, 34 staff cases
Denver County Jail: May 2020, Resolved 10/20/2020, Jail, Denver County, 5/12/2020, 81 resident cases, 4 staff cases
Denver County Jail: October 2020, Resolved 3/11/2021, Jail, Denver County, 10/29/2020, 61 resident cases, 16 staff cases
Denver Reception & Diagnostic Center: April 2021, Resolved 5/28/2021, State Prison, Denver County, 4/8/2021, 16 resident cases, 18 staff cases
Denver Reception & Diagnostic Center: January 2021, Resolved 3/10/2021, State Prison, Denver County, 1/6/2021, 26 resident cases, 28 staff cases, 1 resident death
Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center: May 2020, Resolved 6/10/2020, State Prison, Denver County, 5/14/2020, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case
Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center: October 2020, Resolved 11/10/2020, State Prison, Denver County, 9/17/2020, 2 resident cases, 3 staff cases
Denver Women's Correctional Facility: March 2021, Resolved 6/9/2021, State Prison, Denver County, 3/30/2021, 71 resident cases, 14 staff cases
Denver Women's Correctional Facility: November 2020, Resolved 2/2/2021, State Prison, Denver County, 11/9/2020, 67 resident cases, 51 staff cases
Douglas County Jail, Resolved 6/10/2020, Jail, Douglas County, 4/28/2020, 12 resident cases
Federal Correctional Institution — Englewood: June 2020, Resolved 9/4/2020, Federal Prison, Arapahoe County, 6/4/2020, 11 resident cases, 1 staff case
Four Mile Correctional Center: April 2021, Resolved 6/11/2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 4/21/2021, 22 resident cases, 4 staff cases
Four Mile Correctional Center: November 2020, Resolved 1/16/2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 11/3/2020, 4040 resident cases, 35 staff cases, 1 resident death
Fremont Correctional Facility: August 2020, Resolved 9/14/2020, State Prison, Fremont County, 8/19/2020, 6 resident cases, 4 staff cases
Fremont Correctional Facility: October 2020, Resolved 3/9/2021, State Prison, Fremont County, 10/12/2020, 780 resident cases, 127 staff cases, 4 resident deaths
Fremont County Sheriff's Detention Center, Resolved 12/26/2020, Jail, Fremont County, 11/12/2020, 53 resident cases, 8 staff cases
Jefferson County Detention Center: December 2020, Resolved 3/17/2021, Jail, Jefferson County, 12/1/2020, 85 resident cases
Jefferson County Detention Center: March 2021, Resolved 5/17/2021, Jail, Jefferson County, 3/29/2021, 33 resident cases
Jefferson County Detention Center: May 2020, Resolved 8/27/2020, Jail, Jefferson County, 5/5/2020, 83 resident cases, 16 staff cases, 1 resident death
La Vista Correctional Facility: April 2021, Resolved 5/26/2021, State Prison, Pueblo County, 4/20/2021, 5 resident cases, 18 staff cases
La Vista Correctional Facility: November 2020, Resolved 12/23/2020, State Prison, Pueblo County, 11/2/2020, 9 resident cases, 33 staff cases
Larimer County Jail, Resolved 5/17/2021, Jail, Larimer County, 11/17/2020, 58 resident cases, 32 staff cases
Limon Correctional Facility, Resolved 3/18/2021, State Prison, Lincoln County, 11/24/2020, 749 resident cases, 84 staff cases
Mesa County Correctional Facility, Resolved 2/10/2021, Jail, Mesa County, 11/9/2020, 149 resident cases, 22 staff cases
Morgan County Detention Center, Resolved 3/30/2021, Jail, Morgan County, 12/9/2020, 39 resident cases, 12 staff cases
Rifle Correctional Center, Resolved 1/15/2021, State Prison, Garfield County, 12/18/2020, 3 resident cases, 3 staff cases
Rio Blanco County Jail, Resolved 12/23/2020, Jail, Rio Blanco County, 11/19/2020, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case
Saguache County Jail, Resolved 11/7/2020, Jail, Saguache County, 10/13/2020, 5 resident cases, 5 staff cases
San Carlos Correctional Facility: March 2021, Resolved 5/27/2021, State Prison, Pueblo County, 3/16/2021, 7 resident cases, 17 staff cases
San Carlos Correctional Facility: October 2020, Resolved 12/18/2020, State Prison, Pueblo County, 10/26/2020, 9 resident cases, 25 staff cases
Sterling Correctional Facility: April 2020, Resolved 3/8/2021, State Prison, Logan County, 4/14/2020, 1,516 resident cases, 245 staff cases, 10 resident deaths
Sterling Correctional Facility: April 2021, Resolved 6/10/2021, State Prison, Logan County, 4/7/20921, 11 resident cases, 29 staff cases
Summit County Jail: December 2020, Resolved 1/6/2021, Jail, Summit County, 12/22/2020, 13 resident cases, 7 staff cases
Summit County Jail: March 2021, Resolved 4/26/2021, Jail, Summit County, 3/24/2021, 2 resident cases, 2 staff cases
Trinidad Correctional Facility: April 2021, Resolved 6/11/2021, State Prison, Las Animas County, 4/26/2021, 13 resident cases, 6 staff cases
Trinidad Correctional Facility: November 2020, Resolved 2/11/2021, State Prison, Las Animas County, 11/19/2020, 324 resident cases, 43 staff cases
Washington County Justice Center: December 2020, Resolved 1/19/2021, Jail, Washington County, 12/1/2020, 89 resident cases, 5 staff cases
Washington County Justice Center: May 2020, Resolved 7/8/2020, Jail, Washington County, 5/22/2020, 27 resident cases, 4 staff cases
Weld County Jail, Resolved 4/1/2021, Jail, Weld County, 4/1/2020, 88 resident cases, 28 staff cases, 1 resident death
Youthful Offender Systems: October 2020, Resolved 12/18/2020, State Prison, Pueblo County, 10/23/2020, 142 resident cases, 75 staff cases

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