The conventional wisdom in the days leading up to the July 13 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is that outdoor events are now COVID-19 safe. But there are clearly exceptions to this presumptive rule, as evidenced by the revelation that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has declared Country Jam Colorado, a three-day music festival that drew thousands to the Western Slope late last month, to be a COVID-19 outbreak site.
According to the CDPHE, whose latest outbreaks report was published July 7, four Country Jam staff members and thirteen attendees have tested positive for the disease so far.
When it started releasing weekly outbreak lists in April 2020, the state health department considered an entity an outbreak after two or more COVID-19 cases among residents, staffers or other people connected to a specific location were confirmed within a fourteen-day period. But as of June 1, the CDPHE limited that standard to residential health-care and correctional facilities; in most other places, including schools, child-care centers, work sites, events, dormitories and non-residential care settings, an outbreak will only be designated after five or more confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in a fourteen-day period.
Like most music festivals, Country Jam Colorado, which annually takes place at Jam Ranch outside Mack, a community a short drive from Grand Junction, was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. The announcement in April that the sprawling spectacle, which attracts country music fans from across the region, would be back on June 24-26, 2021, was greeted by this Colorado Springs Gazette headline: "Is Country Jam's Return in Colorado the Sign We've Been Waiting For?"
In the meantime, however, Mesa County, which encompasses the Country Jam Colorado site, became the poster child for COVID-19 problems in the state. During an appearance on MSNBC in June, a representative for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention singled out Mesa County as having one of the nation's most troublingly low vaccination rates. This immunization shortfall presumably made Mesa vulnerable to the more transmissible and dangerous Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, which has taken hold there in a big way. Mesa County currently has by far the highest incidence of the Delta variant in all Colorado counties.
These circumstances raised concerns at Mesa County Public Health regarding Country Jam, which is known for its communal spirit; many ticket holders take advantage of multiple campsites adjacent to the festival grounds and stay for the full run of shows, with a lineup this year that included Luke Combs, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Ashley McBryde, Travis Denning, Tanya Tucker and many other country stars and up-and-comers. In advance of the fest, the department targeted fans with vaccination advertisements and pledged to monitor new cases that might result.
And there were plenty.
Since our last outbreaks post four weeks ago, the CDPHE has identified only fifty active outbreaks by its new measures — an exceedingly low number compared to reports earlier this year, when new outbreaks often topped 100 a week. Of those fifty outbreaks, 28 pertain to health-care facilities, with 24 of those specializing in senior care.
Among the other 22 outbreaks, at least one — the Grand Junction Carnival — took place in an outdoor setting. A number of retailers are also experiencing significant spread, among them an Archuleta County Walmart with thirteen staff cases. And the seriousness of COVID-19 is underscored by four deaths: one each connected to Englewood Post-Acute and Rehabilitation, Juniper Village in Aurora, the Nissan Durango car dealership and a Federal Express ground distribution center in Glenwood Springs.
Still, the Country Jam Colorado outbreak is most troubling for people who thought that anxiety over attending an outdoor concert or sporting event was a thing of the past, especially for individuals who've been immunized. Denver7 is reporting that a fully vaccinated Arvada couple believe they contracted COVID-19 at Country Jam.
Here are the fifty new active outbreaks identified by the CDPHE since its June 9 report — the first full week under its new rules. The list includes the date the outbreak became official and the type of people impacted.
1. Abbey Road Assisted Living — Newport (2304AW), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 6/18/2021, 6 resident cases
2. Alpine Lumber Montrose, Materials Supplier, Montrose Count, 6/7/2021, 10 staff cases
3. Applewood Our House Assisted Living, Inc. (23D173), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 7/7/2021, 2 staff cases
4. Belleview Heights Alzheimer's Special Care (23R712): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 6/28/2021, 2 resident cases, 6 staff cases
5. Bonaventure of Pueblo (23Y771): June 2021, Healthcare, Memory Care, Pueblo County, 6/23/2021, 2 staff cases
6. Boulder County Jail: June 2021, Jail, Boulder County, 6/24/2021, 4 resident cases
7. Boys & Girls Club of Fremont County, Youth Sports/Activities, Fremont County, 6/16/2021, 2 staff cases, 3 attendee cases
8. Casey's Pond Senior Living LTC (020803): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Routt County, 6/30/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
9. Clayton House — Continuum of Colorado, Healthcare, Group Home, Arapahoe County, 6/9/2021, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
10. Colorado State Veterans Home at Fitzsimons (02R932): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 6/17/2021, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case
11. Columbine Commons Assisted Living (23R659): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 6/21/2021, 5 resident cases, 2 staff cases
12. Country Jam, Fair/Festival/Temporary Mobile Event, Mesa County, 7/6/2021, 4 staff cases, 13 attendee cases
13. Crossroads at Delta (23R567): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Delta County, 6/7/2021, 7 resident cases, 4 staff cases
14. Denver Reception & Diagnostic Center: July 2021, State Prison, Denver County, 7/1/2021, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case
15. Englewood Post Acute and Rehabilitation (020481): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 6/29/2021, 4 resident cases, 2 staff cases, 1 resident death
16. FedEx Ground — Glenwood Springs, Distribution Center/Business, Garfield County, 6/16/2021, 12 staff cases, 1 staff death
17. Fedex Ground — Henderson: April 2021, Distribution Center/Business, Adams County, 6/1/2021, 12 staff cases
18. Grand Junction Carnival, Fair/Festival/Temporary Mobile Event, Mesa County, 7/1/2021, 1 staff case, 8 attendee cases
19. Grand River Health Care Center (020899): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Garfield County, 6/22/2021, 2 staff cases
20. Irondale Post Acute (020421): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 7/2/2021, 6 resident cases, 2 staff cases
21. Juniper Village at Aurora (2304S1): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 6/16/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case, 1 resident death
22. La Plata County Detention Center, Jail, La Plata County, 7/6/2021, 2 resident cases
23. Leawood Assisted Living #4 (23Q176), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 7/6/2021, 6 resident cases, 2 staff cases
24. Legacy Academy Gymnastics and Ninja, Youth Sports/Activities, Gymnastics Center, Mesa County, 6/22/2021, 2 staff cases, 4 attendee cases
25. Life Care Center of Longmont (020316): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Boulder County, 6/30/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
26. LPR Construction — UC Health Tower 3 , Construction Site, Adams County, 6/17/2021, 6 staff cases
27. Marycrest Assisted Living (2304ST): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 6/18/2021, 2 staff cases
28. Mesa County Sheriff's Office: May 2021, Law Enforcement, Mesa County, 6/9/2021, 6 staff cases
29. Mesa County Sheriffs Office Jail, Mesa County, 7/1/2021, 4 resident cases, 2 staff cases
30. Mesa County Work Release/Community Corrections: June 2021, Correctional, Mesa County, 6/30/2021, 7 resident cases
31. Mesa Manor (021177): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 6/16/2021, 2 staff cases
32. Mountain Springs Recovery: June 2021, Healthcare, Alcohol/Drug Abuse Treatment (Outpatient), El Paso County, 6/24/2021, 6 resident cases, 1 staff case
33. Mountain Valley Developmental Services — Bookcliffs House, Healthcare, Group Home, Garfield County, 7/1/2021, 4 resident cases, 1 staff case
34. Mountain Vista Assisted Living & Memory Care (2304SY): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 6/28/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
35. Nissan Durango, Car Dealership, La Plata County, 7/6/2021, 10 staff cases, 1 staff death
36. Orchard Park Health Care Center (020468): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 6/15/2021, 2 resident cases, 1 staff case
37. Primrose School of Longmont: June 2021, Child Care Center, Boulder County, 6/30/2021, 1 staff case, 8 attendee cases
38. Renew Roaring Fork (23F410): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Garfield County, 6/10/2021, 3 resident cases, 3 staff cases
39. Restaurants at Wind Crest: November 2020, Healthcare, Independent Living Facility, Douglas County, 5/7/2021, 121 staff cases
40. San Luis Care Center (021020): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Alamosa County, 6/22/2021, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
41. Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab (02H515): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Moffat County, 6/7/2021, 5 staff cases
42. Sefnco Communications, Office/Indoor Workspace, El Paso County, 6/11/2021, 9 staff cases
43. Social Gathering — Conejos County, Social Gathering, Conejos County, 6/17/2021, 10 attendee cases
44. Sprouts Farmers Market #333, Grocery Store, Jefferson County, 7/6/2021, 5 staff cases
45. The Commons of Hilltop (23T695): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 7/1/2021, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
46. The Courtyard of Loveland (230369): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 7/6/2021, 2 staff cases
47. Walmart #5003, Retailer, Archuleta County, 6/22/2021, 13 staff cases
48. West Elk Mine: June 2021, Mine, Gunnison County, 6/16/2021, 20 staff cases
49. Women's Recovery Center — Grand Junction, Healthcare, Alcohol/Drug Abuse Treatment (Inpatient), Mesa County, 7/1/2021, 5 resident cases, 1 staff case
50. Yampa Valley Electrical Association — Craig, Municipal/Local Government, Utility Company, Moffat County, 6/17/2021, 5 staff cases
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