Coronavirus

More Than Half of New COVID Outbreaks at K-12 Schools

Heritage Elementary School in Highlands Ranch is one of six K-12 facilities in Douglas County on the latest outbreaks list.
Heritage Elementary School in Highlands Ranch is one of six K-12 facilities in Douglas County on the latest outbreaks list. Google Maps
The latest COVID-19 outbreaks report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is dominated by reports of spread at K-12 schools. The new roster includes 38 of these facilities, well over half the total, with many of them in places where in-class mask usage among students and staff has been controversial.

The current standard for outbreaks differs by setting. For residential health-care and correctional facilities, the department must confirm two or more COVID-19 cases among residents, staffers, attendees and other people connected to a specific place within a fourteen-day period. However, at least five confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in a fourteen-day period must be identified at all other locations before an outbreak is designated.

The 68 new or tweaked entries on the CDPHE's September 8 report is down from 83 on September 1, as detailed in our previous update. But this drop likely has more to do with the extended Labor Day weekend holiday than an actual decline in COVID-19 spread — and even though the overall total is down, outbreaks at K-12 schools have increased significantly.

The September 1 rundown included new entries for 28 K-12 schools — double the fourteen ID'd in the state health department's August 25 survey. Of the 38 new K-12 outbreaks in the September 8 document, seven are in El Paso County, six in Douglas County, four in Mesa County, three in Arapahoe County and one in Adams County. Among the largest outbreaks are at two Elbert County schools: eleven staff cases and 21 attendee cases at one, five staff cases and twenty attendee cases at the other.


Outbreaks at health-care facilities dipped by half, tumbling from 34 on September 1 to seventeen on September 8; of the latter, fourteen specialize in senior care. Other notable outbreaks turned up at Arkansas Valley Adventures, a rafting and ziplining operation; the clinical engineering department at St. Anthony Hospital; a Boulder car dealership; and Belly Up, a famed music venue in Aspen.

The number of active outbreaks in the state climbed from 243 on September 1 to 291 on September 8.

Here are the 68 new or tweaked active outbreaks identified by the CDPHE in its September 8 report, including the date when the outbreak became official and the type of people impacted:

1. Arkansas Valley Adventures, Outdoor Entertainment/Rec, Rafting and Ziplining, Clear Creek County, 8/20/2021, 15 staff cases
2. Backbone Fiber Systems, LLC, Construction Company/Contractor, Larimer County, 9/2/2021, 6 staff cases
3. Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center, Hotel/Lodge, Resort, Summit County, 9/3/2021, 6 staff cases
4. Belly Up Aspen, Indoor Entertainment/Rec, Concert Venue, Pitkin County, 9/2/2021, 12 attendee cases
5. Boulder Shelter for the Homeless: August 2021, Homeless Shelter, Boulder County, 9/3/2021, 5 resident cases
6. Bradford Elementary School: August 2021, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 9/3/2021, 5 staff cases, 2 attendee cases
7. Brookdale Fort Collins Assisted Living (2303WA): September 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 9/7/2021, 7 resident cases, 2 staff cases
8. Brookdale Mariana Butte (2303F3): August 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 9/2/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
9. Brookside Inn (0205US): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 9/7/2021, 9 resident case, 4 staff cases
10. Caprock Academy: August 2021, School, K-12, Mesa County, 9/3/2021, 3 staff cases, 3 attendee cases
11. Carmel Community School, School, K-12, El Paso County, 8/31/2021, 3 staff cases, 3 attendee cases
12. Carver Elementary School Head Start, Child Care Center, El Paso County, 9/2/2021, 5 attendee cases
13. Challenge to Excellence Charter School: August 2021, School, K-12, Douglas County, 9/8/2021, 1 staff case, 7 attendee cases
14. Colorado Early Colleges — Castle Rock, School, K-12, Douglas County, 9/7/2021, 7 attendee cases
15. Colorado Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake (021013): September 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Rio Grande County, 9/2/2021, 2 staff cases
16. Connect Charter School, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 9/3/2021, 2 staff cases, 3 attendee cases
17. Corwin International Magnet School, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 9/5/2021, 2 staff cases, 15 attendee cases
18. Coyote Ridge Elementary School, School, K-12, Larimer County, 9/6/2021, 1 staff case, 9 attendee cases
19. Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School: August 2021, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 9/7/2021, 10 attendee cases
20. Douglas County High School: August 2021, School, K-12, Douglas County, 9/1/2021, 7 staff cases, 27 attendee cases
21. Elbert School, School, K-12, Elbert County, 9/7/2021, 11 staff cases, 21 attendee cases
22. Elkhart Elementary School, School, K-12, Arapahoe County, 9/7/2021, 1 staff case, 7 attendee cases
23. Flatirons Health and Rehab (02H512): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 9/6/2021, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
24. Forest Ridge Senior Living (02D453): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Teller County, 8/23/2021, 2 staff cases
25. Fruita Middle School: August 2021, School, K-12, Mesa County, 9/2/2021, 6 attendee cases
26. Grand Junction High School: August 2021, School, K-12, Mesa County, 9/2/2021, 1 staff case, 5 attendee cases
27. Grand Mesa Youth Services: September 2021, Correctional, Mesa County, 9/2/2021, 4 resident cases, 3 staff cases
28. Grandview Elementary School, School, K-12, Weld County, 9/2/2021, 7 attendee cases
29. Healthcare Workforce Logistics — Greeley, Healthcare, Outpatient, Weld County, 8/27/2021, 5 staff cases
30. Heritage Elementary School: August 2021, School, K-12, Douglas County, 9/8/2021, 1 staff case, 4 attendee cases
31. Interroll Engineering West, Inc., Materials Supplier, Industrial Equipment Supplier, Fremont County, 8/30/3031, 7 staff cases
32. Jefferson High School, School, K-12, Weld County, 9/2/2021, 3 staff cases, 6 attendee cases
33. Katherine & Charles Hover Green Houses (02F918): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 9/3/2021, 3 staff cases
34. Larry H Miller Toyota — Boulder, Auto Dealership, Boulder County, 9/7/2021, 7 staff cases
35. Legacy Academy, School, K-12, Elbert County, 9/7/2021, 5 staff cases, 20 attendee cases
36. Lesher Middle School: August 2021, School, K-12, Larimer County, 9/7/2021, 2 staff cases, 10 attendee cases
37. Limon Public Schools: August 2021, School, K-12, Lincoln County, 9/3/2021, 1 staff case, 14 attendee cases
38. Lucile Erwin Middle School: August 2021, School, K-12, Larimer County, 9/6/2021, 6 attendee cases
39. Melody Living of Colorado Springs (23P166): September 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 9/2/2021, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case
40. Mental Health Center of Denver — Beeler House (2304H4): August 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 9/7/2021, 2 resident cases
41. Mountain View High School: August 2021, School, K-12, Larimer County, 9/6/2021, 9 attendee cases
42. Orchard Avenue Elementary School: August 2021, School, K-12, Mesa County, 9/1/2021, 6 attendee cases
43. Pagosa Peak Open School, School, K-12, Archuleta County, 9/7/2021, 1 staff case, 4 attendee cases
44. Parker Performing Arts: August 2021, School, K-12, Douglas County, 9/1/2021, 7 attendee cases
45. Pikes Peak Center (02B942): September 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 9/1/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
46. Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy Colorado Springs, School, K-12, El Paso County, 9/2/2021, 1 staff case, 6 attendee cases
47. Pueblo Chemical Agent — Destruction Pilot Plant: August 2021, Chemical Agent Destruction, Pueblo County, 8/30/2021, 17 staff cases
48. Rainbow Head Start: August 2021, Child Care Center, Adams County, 9/7/2021, 1 staff case, 6 attendee cases
49. RTD District Shops, Public Transportation, Denver County, 9/7/2021, 5 staff cases
50. Ryan Elementary School: August 2021, School, K-12, Jefferson County, 9/1/2021, 2 staff cases, 4 attendee cases
51. Sagewood Middle School: August 2021, School, K-12, Douglas County, 8/30/2021, 2 staff cases, 18 attendee cases
52. Sand Creek International Elementary School, School, K-12, El Paso County, 8/31/2021, 3 staff cases, 16 attendee cases
53. Shalom Park (0204NU): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 9/8/2021, 2 staff cases
54. Sierra Grande School: August 2021, School, K-12, Costilla County, 9/1/2021, 1 staff case, 6 attendee cases
55. Sierra High School, School, K-12, El Paso County, 8/31/2021, 2 staff cases, 3 attendee cases
56. Skyview Middle School: August 2021, School, K-12, El Paso County, 9/2/2021, 8 attendee cases
57. St. Anthony Hospital — Clinical Engineering Department, Healthcare, Acute Care Hospital, Jefferson County, 9/3/2021, 6 staff cases
58. Stratton Elementary School, School, K-12, El Paso County, 9/7/2021, 1 staff case, 4 attendee cases
59. Swallows Charter Academy: August 2021, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 9/3/2021, 2 staff cases, 15 attendee cases
60. ViewPointe Senior Living (230541): September 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 9/2/2021, 3 resident cases, 1 staff case
61. Villa Manor Care Center (020451): September 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 9/1/2021, 1 resident case, 3 staff cases
62. Virginia Court Elementary, School, K-12, Arapahoe County, 9/2/2021, 2 staff cases, 6 attendee cases
63. Vista Ridge High School: August 2021, School, K-12, El Paso County, 9/1/2021, 2 staff cases, 13 attendee cases
64. Washington County Nursing Home (020162): August 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Washington County, 9/1/2021, 3 staff cases
65. West Ridge Elementary School, School, K-12, Adams County, 9/2/2021, 1 staff case, 6 attendee cases
66. Western Sugar Co-Op — Fort Morgan Facility, Food Manufacturing/Packaging, Morgan County, 9/1/2021, 5 staff cases
67. Wheat Ridge Regional Center— House B: September 2021, Healthcare, Facility for Developmentally Disabled (Inpatient), Jefferson County, 9/1/2021, 2 staff cases
68. Wilder Elementary School: September 2021, School, K-12, Arapahoe County, 9/2/2021, 1 staff case, 4 attendee cases
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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