Coronavirus

COVID-19 Outbreaks Nearly Double Despite Changes to Reduce Them

Columbine Commons Assisted Living in Windsor is experiencing its fifth COVID-19 outbreak. Previous outbreaks were identified in December 2020, June 2021, October 2021 and June 2022.
Columbine Commons Assisted Living in Windsor is experiencing its fifth COVID-19 outbreak. Previous outbreaks were identified in December 2020, June 2021, October 2021 and June 2022. Google Maps
This month, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment changed the way it shares information about COVID-19 outbreaks by eliminating the reporting requirement for K-12 schools and most businesses and events. But even though only the highest-risk settings, such as nursing homes and jails, are now being tracked by the agency, the number of new outbreaks nearly doubled in the past week, going from 37 to 65. And an uptick in other statistics provides further evidence of how the virus continues to spread in the state.

Here are the current COVID numbers in major categories, as updated by the CDPHE after 4 p.m. July 27, along with data from our previous COVID roundup, which drew from July 20 data:

1,592,774 cases (up 16,080 from July 20)
66,404 hospitalized (up 286 from July 20)
64 counties (unchanged from July 20)
12,960 deaths among cases (up 38 from July 20)
13,529 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 234 from July 20)
9,474 outbreaks (up 70 from July 20)

Four takeaways

• The 16,080 total recorded for new cases over the seven days ending July 27 is higher than the average of 14,497 over the previous three weeks, and the total almost certainly represents only a small slice of the overall cases. These days, as acknowledged by Ginger Stringer, the epidemiology response program manager in the CDPHE's communicable-disease branch, most Coloradans confirm their infections with home kits on a private basis rather than taking more medically accurate tests, whose results are then passed along to the CDPHE.

• New hospitalization figures offer a mix of good and less good news. The 268 hospitalizations listed on July 27 are lower than the average of 375 over the past three weeks. But daily admissions continue to vacillate between a low of around fifty to a high slightly above 100, and the 313 confirmed COVID-19 patients for the week of July 26 represent a modest increase from the 304 on July 19.

• Figures related to fatalities are a mixed bag, too. The total of 38 deaths among cases of COVID-19 listed on July 27 is lower than the average of 52 over the preceding three weeks. But newly divulged deaths specifically from COVID-19 hit 234 over that same span, as compared to 108 from June 29 to July 20, owing in part to some statistical catch-up by the CDPHE.

• The state's seven-day-average positivity rate of 10.62 percent is down slightly from 11.16 percent on July 20, but still more than twice as high as the 5 percent mark the state health department prefers not to surpass. COVID-19 samples sequenced by the agency during the week of July 3, the most recent for which information is available, show that variants of Omicron continue to rule. According to the department's breakdown, 61.79 percent of cases were traced to Omicron 5, 21.14 percent to Omicron 3, 14.63 percent to Omicron 4, and 2.24 percent to Omicron 1.

The CDPHE's reporting changes initially caused the number of outbreaks under active investigation by the department to plummet; they went from 573 on June 29 to 369 in the survey dated July 20. In the just-issued July 27 analysis, however, the total jumped up to 390, with the 65 new or tweaked additions to the roster outdistancing the number of outbreaks the department has recently resolved.

Only five of the latest batch of sites are experiencing an outbreak for the first time, and many of the others have gone through the drill semi-regularly. The outbreak at Columbine Commons Assisted Living in Windsor is its fifth, following previous spreads confirmed in December 2020, June 2021, October 2021 and June 2022. Health-care facilities that specialize in senior care dominate, but also on the list are five child-care centers and a summer camp in Park County.

Here are the 65 new or tweaked outbreaks identified by the CDPHE on July 27, complete with information about categories, county of origin, and the date when the spread was officially recognized. Note that the department no longer provides details about the overall number of infections or deaths and whether they pertain to residents, staff members or attendees.

1. Adams County Sheriff's Detention Facility: June 2022, Jail, Adams County, 7/26/2022
2. Aspens at Fort Collins (23G501): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 7/19/2022
3. Bee Hive Homes of Pagosa Springs (23T234): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Archuleta County, 7/19/2022
4. Belleview Suites At DTC (2304VK): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 6/13/2022
5. Berkley Manor Care Center (020419): June 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 6/14/2022
6. Bethesda Gardens Monument (23U756): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 7/22/2022
7. Boulder Canyon Health and Rehab (020339): June 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 6/29/2022
8. Brookside Rehabilitation and Wellness (02YWQ1): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 7/22/2022
9. Cambridge Care Center (020441): June 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 6/6/2022
10. Camp IdRaHaJe: July 2022, Overnight Camp, Park County, 7/20/2022
11. Casey's Pond Senior Living LTC (020803): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Routt County, 7/19./2022
12. Castle Rock Care Center (020591): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 7/14/2022
13. Chaffee County Jail: July 2022, Jail, Chaffee County, 7/15/2022
14. Cheyenne Village Inc Weed Home (0505FK), Healthcare, Group Home, El Paso County, 7/15/2022
15. Christopher House Rehab and Care (020472): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 7/25/2022
16. Cinnamon Park (230367): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 7/21/2022
17. Columbine Commons Assisted Living (23R659): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 7/7/2022
18. Columbine Manor Care Center (020698): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Chaffee County, 7/18/2022
19. Community Alternatives of El Paso County: July 2022, Correctional, El Paso County, 7/21/2022
20. CPCD Head Start — Hunt 2 EHS, Child Care Center, El Paso County, 7/26/2022
21. Elk Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center (021141): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Montrose County, 7/12/2022
22. Evergreen Gardens at La Junta (23028D): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Otero County, 7/20/2022
23. Fountain View Health and Rehabilitation Center (020561): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 7/22/2022
24. Garden Terrace Alzheimer's Center Of Excellence (020469): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 7/13/2022
25. Grace Manor Care Center (020175): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Kit Carson County, 7/18/2022
26. Greeley Village LLC (23Q715): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 7/11/2022
27. Holly Nursing Care Center (020237): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Prowers County, 7/21/2022
28. Homeward Bound: July 2022, Homeless Shelter, Mesa County, 7/26/2022
29. Horizons Specialized Services Day Program, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Outpatient), Routt County, 7/18/2022
30. Inglenook at Brighton (2303GK): June 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Adams County, 6/24/2022
31. Junior Jets Child Development Center: July 2022, Child Care Center, Boulder County, 7/22/2022
32. Kiowa Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center (020559): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 7/13/2022
33. Knowledge Beginnings — Littleton: July 2022, Child Care Center, Jefferson County, 7/25/2022
34. La Vista Correctional Facility: July 2022, State Prison, Pueblo County, 7/18/2022
35. Learning Services Corporation — Bear Creek (23R199): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 7/20/2022
36. Life Care Center of Westminster (0204W2): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 7/20/2022
37. Lowry Hills Care and Rehabilitation (020426): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 7/11/2022
38. MorningStar at Bear Creek (23S293): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 7/25/2022
39. Oakshire Commons (23M641): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Pueblo County, 7/18/2022
40. Pine Grove Crossing (23N138): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Douglas County, 7/25/2022
41. Rock Canyon Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center (020699): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Pueblo County, 7/22/2022
42. Rocky Mountain Care and Consulting LLC (23Q270): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 7/13/2022
43. Rowan Community, Inc (020459): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 7/20/2022
44. Samaritan House Denver: June 2022, Homeless Shelter, Denver County, 7/26/2022
45. San Luis Care Center (021020): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Alamosa County, 7/18/2022
46. Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab (02H515): June 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Moffat County, 6/9/2022
47. Skyline Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (020682): June 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Fremont County, 6/24/2022
48. Sopris Lodge at Carbondale (23TDI7), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Garfield County, 7/20/2022
49. Sunny Vista Living Center (020517): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 7/22/2022
50. Sunrise Assisted Living of Boulder (23H563): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 7/8/2022
51. The Center at Centerplace LLC (02Z779): May 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Weld County, 5/24/2022
52. The Center at Foresight LLC (02V727): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Mesa County, 7/19/2022
53. The Gardens (020533): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 7/13/2022
54. The Gardens Care Homes — Red Hawk (23F922): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Douglas County, 7/15/2022
55. The Mezzanine — Assisted Living at Golden West (230379): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 7/19/2022
56. The Pavilion at Villa Pueblo (020640): June 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Pueblo County, 6/16/2022
57. The Sunshine House of Loveland at Centerra: July 2022, Child Care Center, Larimer County, 7/11/2022
58. The Village Care and Rehabilitation Center (0204JL): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 7/20/2022
59. The Villas at Sunny Acres Skilled Nursing (020458): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 6/9/2022
60. The Vineyards Memory Care (23S295): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 7/20/2022
61. ThriveCare (23W354): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 7/8/2022
62. Thrivecare Rowland LLC (2304J1), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 6/29/2022
63. Village Lane Group Home (05Z408), Healthcare, Group Home, Routt County, 7/20/2022
64. Vista View Group Home (051110): June 2022, Healthcare, Group Home, Montrose County, 6/28/2022
65. YMCA Inspire Preschool — Johnstown: July 2022, Child Care Center, Weld County, 7/18/2022
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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