Coronavirus

Most Tragic Colorado Places in the COVID Pandemic

Centennial Healthcare Center in Weld County has been connected with 22 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
Centennial Healthcare Center in Weld County has been connected with 22 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Google Maps
The number of COVID-19 outbreaks reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has risen steadily in recent months, fueled by the Delta variant of the disease. So, too, have deaths associated with the sites — 28 to date at nineteen places currently under active investigation by the CDPHE, including a Colorado Springs Walmart, a Moffat County coal mine, and seventeen nursing homes and related facilities.

Still, recent numbers are low compared to the COVID-19 casualty count since the first infection in Colorado, confirmed in March 2020. The CDPHE's last outbreak report, released on October 6, reveals that since the start of the pandemic, twenty locations across the state have been linked to at least twenty deaths from the virus, with three exceeding thirty; they are easily the most tragic locations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The death toll connected to each of the twenty businesses, all devoted to senior care, exceed the number of fatalities connected to the 1999 attack on Columbine High School, the 2012 Aurora theater shooting and the slayings at a Boulder King Soopers earlier this year.

The October 6 CDPHE report lists 458 active outbreaks, and the overwhelming majority have not resulted in deaths. Of the nineteen that have, MorningStar at Bear Creek, an assisted-living facility in El Paso County, is dealing with the deadliest outbreak: Five people have died among 22 resident cases there, with fourteen staffers suffering infections as well. No one died during a previous MorningStar at Bear Creek outbreak, which was resolved in December 2020.

Four other sites with ongoing outbreaks have already experienced two deaths, while the rest are at one death.


The CDPHE's roster of resolved outbreaks is enormous: The number stands at 5,743. Deaths traced to resolved outbreaks come to 2,675 — around a third of the 7,996 deaths attributed to COVID-19 as of October 12, according to the state health department. The overwhelming majority of the outbreak fatalities were connected to residential facilities such as senior centers, jails and homeless shelters. Overall staff deaths traced to outbreaks comes to 79, including six JBS Greeley beef plant employees. Six outbreak deaths have been traced to event attendees; four of those took part in an El Paso bridge tournament in March 2020.

The state statistics demonstrate that deaths among workers or customers at outbreak sites are exceedingly rare compared to fatalities among residents in community-living scenarios. And even though deaths have declined since the earliest days of the fight against COVID-19, they're still happening more frequently than anyone would like more than eighteen months later.

Continue to see the list of active outbreaks in Colorado with one or more death, complete with details about when spread was confirmed and the type of people affected. That's followed by the rundown of sites with resolved outbreaks that have been tied to at least twenty deaths, in ascending order.

ACTIVE OUTBREAKS

1. Broadview Health and Rehabilitation Center LLC (020321): September 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Weld County, 9/22/2021, 3 resident cases, 1 resident death
2. Brookdale Greeley (2303B5): August 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 8/17/2021, 15 resident cases, 1 staff case, 1 resident death
3. Brookdale Greenwood Village (0204W6): September 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 9/23/2021, 29 resident cases, 12 staff cases, 1 resident death
4. Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home — Rifle (020855): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Garfield County, 8/16/2021, 8 resident cases, 3 staff cases, 1 resident death
5. Colowyo Coal Mine, Coal Mine, Moffat County, 9/28/2021, 5 staff cases, 1 staff death
6. Grand Villa Assisted Living (231132): July 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 7/13/2021, 7 resident cases, 3 staff cases, 1 resident death
7. Healthcare Resort of Colorado Springs (02U718): September 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 9/21/2021, 11 resident cases, 4 staff cases, 2 resident deaths
8. Jackson Creek Senior Living (23H946): August 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 8/25/2021, 7 resident cases, 3 staff cases, 2 resident deaths
9. Liberty Heights Skilled Nursing Center (020501): September 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 9/8/2021, 7 resident cases, 5 staff cases, 2 resident deaths
10. Melody Living of Colorado Springs (23P166): September 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 9/2/2021, 11 resident cases, 3 staff cases, 2 resident deaths
11. MorningStar at Bear Creek (23S293): September 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 9/16/2021, 22 resident cases, 14 staff cases, 5 resident deaths
12. MorningStar at Ridgegate (23X760): April 2021, Healthcare, Combined Care, Douglas County, 4/28/2021, 19 resident cases, 22 staff cases, 1 resident death
13. Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of the Rockies (020325): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Larimer County, 8/27/2021, 5 resident cases, 2 staff cases, 1 resident death
14. Solange at Appletree Assisted Living (2305I0): September 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 9/9/2021, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case, 1 resident death
15. Sunshine Gardens West Assisted Living (2312W2), Healthcare, Assisted Living, La Plata County, 8/12/2021, 7 resident cases, 5 staff cases, 1 resident death
16. Tender Care Assisted Living 2 (23Q702), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 9/9/2021, 7 resident cases, 1 staff case, 1 resident death
17. ViewPointe Senior Living (230541): September 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 2 resident cases, 2 staff cases, 1 resident death
18. Walmart Store #3582: September 2021, Retailer, El Paso County, 9/30/2021, 11 staff cases, 1 staff death
19. Wind Crest: August 2021, Healthcare, Independent Living Facility, Douglas County, 24 resident cases, 9 staff cases, 1 resident death

RESOLVED OUTBREAKS

1. Elms Haven Center (020474): July 2020, Resolved 10/21/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 7/15/2021,83 resident cases, 37 staff cases, 20 resident deaths
2. Northglenn Heights Assisted Living Community (230430): November 2020, Resolved 2/2/2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Adams County, 11/10/2020, 82 resident cases, 35 staff cases, 20 resident deaths
3. The Peaks Care Center (020391): April 2020, Resolved 7/9/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 4/4/2020, 51 resident cases, 36 staff cases, 20 resident deaths
4. The Suites Parker (02K186): September 2020, Resolved 1/15/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 9/24/2020, 65 resident cases, 41 staff cases, 20 resident deaths
5. Villa Manor Care Center (020451): May 2020, Resolved 7/2/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 5/6/2020, 68 resident cases, 56 staff cases, 20 resident deaths
6. Avamere Transitional Care and Rehab-Malley (020432): November 2020, Resolved 3/8/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 11/20/2020, 74 resident cases, 83 staff cases, 21 resident deaths
7. Mesa Manor Center (021177): November 2020, Resolved 2/9/2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 11/30/2020, 54 resident cases, 28 staff cases, 21 resident deaths
8. Centennial Health Care Center (020317): March 2020, Resolved 6/1/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Weld County, 3/20/2020, 46 resident cases, 42 staff cases, 22 resident deaths
9. Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center (020170): April 2020, Resolved 6/5/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Morgan County, 4/8/2020, 61 resident cases, 37 staff cases, 22 resident deaths
10. Four Corners Health Care Center (021299): November 2020, Resolved 1/12/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, La Plata County, 11/24/2020, 94 resident cases, 53 staff cases, 22 resident deaths
11. Mount St. Francis Nursing Center (020506): October 2020, Resolved 1/28/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 10/23/202, 69 resident cases, 61 staff cases, 22 resident deathd
12. Cheyenne Mountain Center (020573): November 2020, Resolved 1/25/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 11/16/2020, 93 resident cases, 70 staff cases, 23 resident deaths
13. Manor Health Services — Boulder (020315): November 2020, Resolved 3/19/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 76 resident cases, 26 staff cases, 23 resident deaths
14. Colorado State Veterans Home at Fitzsimons (02R932): April 2020, Resolved 7/16/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 4/3/2020, 68 resident cases, 30 staff cases, 26 resident deaths
15. Pikes Peak Center (02B942): April 2020, Resolved 9/15/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 4/21/2020, 93 resident cases, 51 staff cases, 27 resident deaths
16. Brookside Inn (0205US): October 2020, Resolved 12/10/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 10/16/2020, 99 resident cases, 85 staff cases, 28 resident deaths
17. Life Care Center of Pueblo (020641), Resolved 2/9/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Pueblo County, 10/16/2020, 99 resident cases, 81 staff cases, 29 resident deaths
18. Life Care Center of Longmont (020316): October 2020, Resolved 2/6/2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 10/22/2020, 99 resident cases, 50 staff cases, 32 resident deaths
19. Mountain Vista Health Center (020429): April 2020, Resolved 7/27/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 4/7/2020, 95 resident cases, 42 staff cases, 32 resident deaths
20. Cherry Creek Nursing Center (020408): April 2020, Resolved 8/5/2020, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 3/30/2020, 96 resident cases, 66 staff cases, 33 resident deaths, 1 staff death
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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