Coronavirus

Jared Polis Confirms COVID-19 Pandemic Isn't Over

Governor Jared Polis getting his booster shot last October.
Governor Jared Polis getting his booster shot last October. colorado.gov
Governor Jared Polis's reelection campaign has downplayed the COVID-19 health crisis. But late on August 17, his office confirmed that he had signed an executive order "to extend the COVID-19 disaster declaration, which allows agencies to continue to access State and federal funding for rapid response to changes in the public health environment due to COVID-19. It also supports the health care system to remain appropriately staffed and prepared to respond to public health."

In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revised its vaccine-breakthrough dashboard on August 15; among the biggest changes involves classifying people as unvaccinated if they've only received one dose rather than completing the entire recommended series. And the latest statistics show that those who stop after the initial two shots are much more likely to contract a breakthrough case leading to hospitalization than are those who've gotten boosters.

Typically, the CDPHE updates its main COVID data page after 4 p.m. every Wednesday. But ongoing technical problems prevented that from happening on August 17, and as a result, the latest numbers available are from August 15. Here they are, juxtaposed with figures from our previous roundup, which drew from August 10 data:

1,616,851 cases (up 5,929 from August 10)
67,142 hospitalized (up 114 from August 10)
13,090 deaths among cases (up 22 from August 10)
13,792 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 34 from August 10)
9,586 outbreaks (up 20 from August 10)

Four takeaways:

• The count of new cases sits at 5,929 for the five days ending August 15, compared to 8,541 for the seven days through August 10.

• There's a similar gap in hospitalizations, with 114 new admissions for the five-day period ending August 15; there were 140 new admissions during the previous week.

• The disparity between fatality figures is much wider: 22 deaths among cases and 34 deaths attributed to COVID-19 from August 11-15, compared with 50 and 129, respectively, for August 4-10.

• The state's seven-day-average positivity rate of 7.63 percent on August 15 was up slightly from 7.38 percent on August 10. No fresh information regarding COVID-19 samples sequenced by the agency has been added since the week of July 10, when 79.09 percent of cases were traced to Omicron 5, 10.58 percent to Omicron 4, 8.65 percent to Omicron 3, and 0.96 percent to Omicron 1.

As for breakthrough cases, the most recent CDPHE figures demonstrate that people who added booster shots to their vaccine regimen are as much as five times less likely to require hospitalization than are unboosted individuals, depending on their age. Here's a graphic showing the rate of hospitalization in Colorado by age group and vaccination status.
Outbreaks of COVID-19 have remained fairly steady, and the department's technical problems didn't prevent the CDPHE's August 17 release of 38 new or tweaked entries, just below the 41 counted on August 10. Once again, the majority of entries comprise health-care facilities that specialize in senior care. Exceptions include two child-care centers and three inpatient facilities for the developmentally disabled.

Here are the new or tweaked outbreaks identified by the CDPHE, complete with 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. Ardent Health and Rehabilitation (020410): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 8/10/2022
2. Avamere Transitional Care and Rehab-Malley (020432): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 8/10/2022
3. Bonaventure of Thornton (23O534): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Adams County, 8/8/2022
4. Broadview Health and Rehabilitation Center LLC (020321): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Weld County, 7/6/2022
5. Brookdale Meridian Lakewood (020475): July 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 7/18/2022
6. Cadence Aurora (23048J): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 8/8/2022
7. Cappella of Pueblo West (2306FN): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Pueblo County, 8./15/2022
8. Castle Rock Care Center (020591): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 8/7/2022
9. Cedars Health Care Center (020449): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 8/4/2022
10. Crossroads at Lakewood (23T750): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 8/8/2022
11. Harris Residence (05V733): August 2022, Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Logan County, 8/4/2022
12. Horizons Care Center (021111): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Delta County, 8/4/2022
13. Jacob J. & Ann B. Walter Memorial Living Center (2301LU): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Sedgwick County, 8/10/2022
14. Lakewood Reserve (23R738): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 8/8/2022
15. Larimer County Community Corrections: August 2022, Correctional, Larimer County, 8/15/2022
16. Life Care Center of Greeley (0203TL): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Weld County, 8/8/2022
17. Manto Homes LLC (23043K): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 8/8/2022
18. Maple Street House (050804), Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Routt County, 8/1/2022
19. Palisades at Broadmoor Park (23U762): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 8/11/2022
20. Peachtree Assisted Living LLC #2 (231123): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 8/10/2022
21. Planet View Assisted Living LLC (23O148): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 8/15/2022
22. Promedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation — Boulder (020315): May 2022, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 5/20/2022
23. Promedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation — Denver (020476): May 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 6/20/2022
24. Pueblo Regional Center — House A: July 2022, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Pueblo County, 7/29/2022
25. Pueblo Regional Center — House F: August 2022, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Pueblo County, 8/9/2022
26. Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of the Rockies (020325): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Larimer County, 8/11/2022
27. Rio Grande Inn (02I146): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Conejos County, 8/5/2022
28. Rosewood (0504A3): August 2022, Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Jefferson County, 8/10/2022
29. Sherman (06B867): August 2022, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Arapahoe County, 8/3/2022
30. South Platte Health and Rehabilitation Center (020186): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Morgan County, 8/3/2022
31. The Courtyards At Mountain View (23X801): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 8/8/2022
32. The Learning Nest, Child Care Center, Denver County, 8/11/2022
33. The Manor on Sycamore Street (23V262), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 8/11/2022
34. The Retreat At Harbor Cove (23114D): July 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 7/25/2022
35. The Retreat at Sunny Vista (23Q180): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 8/16/2022
36. The Sunshine House Fort Collins — Bucking Horse Farm: August 2022, Child Care Center, Larimer County, 8/15/2022
37. Uptown Health Care Center (020452): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 8/10/2022
38. Western Hills Health Care Center (020438): August 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 8/3/2022
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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