Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's regular update about outbreaks of COVID-19 included Country Jam — the sort of major outdoor event that's been portrayed as relatively safe to attend without masks or physical distancing at this point in the pandemic. But that theory is being tested by the CDPHE's latest weekly report, which flags a pair of rodeos that share several characteristics with Country Jam, including outdoor elements and country-music concerts.
Under its recently revised standards, the state health department names residential health-care and correctional facilities outbreaks when two or more COVID-19 cases among residents, staffers or other people connected to a specific location are confirmed within a fourteen-day period. Outbreaks are designated at other sites only after at least five confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in a fourteen-day period.
During the four weeks between June 9, the first report entirely under the CDPHE's new rules, and July 7, the department identified fifty outbreaks. The pace quickened for the latest survey, released July 14, with 26 new outbreaks cited. Eleven were at health-care facilities; most of them specialize in senior care, and two, Mesa County's Grand Villa Assisted Living and Garfield County's Heritage Park Care Center, recorded deaths.
Many of the other outbreaks are in counties with low vaccination rates and concerning COVID-19 case numbers amplified by the more transmissible and dangerous Delta variant. For instance, six fresh outbreaks were discovered in Mesa County, which has the state's most confirmed Delta variant infections (600), lands at just 42.6 percent for eligible residents fully protected by inoculation, and sits at Level Orange on the state's COVID-19 dial dashboard.
New outbreaks in Mesa County have appeared at two Walmarts, the county's traffic service division and Canyon View Vineyard Church, as well as two health-care centers. Moreover, the Country Jam outbreak has expanded from four staff cases and thirteen attendee cases to four staff cases and nineteen attendee cases this week.
The Greeley Stampede, which ran from June 24 to July 4, also made the list this week, with thirteen attendee cases over the span of the event, which included musical performances by country favorites Dylan Scott, Hardy, Lauren Alaina and Dwight Yoakam, plus Christian hip-hopper TobyMac and the rock group Three Doors Down. Greeley is part of Weld County, which is at Level Yellow on the COVID-19 dial dashboard, has 21 confirmed Delta variant cases, and just passed the halfway point for full vaccinations among eligible adults, at 50.8 percent.
The second rodeo outbreak was at the July 1-3 Meeker Range Call, whose schedule included a "barn dance" headlined by Loveland-based country outfit Lendon James and the Highway 34 Band. Meeker is in Rio Blanco County, which is at Level Red on the COVID-19 dial dashboard, lists twelve confirmed Delta variant cases, and has a full vaccination rate of just 32.6 percent among eligible residents.
Of course, the Mile High City just hosted a big event, too: the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which included lots of festivities. Will Denver's vaccination rate — which easily reached President Joe Biden's goal of 70 percent of those eligible inoculated by July 4 — help stave off an outbreak? We'll know in a week or two.
In the meantime, here are the 26 new active outbreaks identified by the CDPHE in its July 14 report. The list includes the date the outbreak became official and the type of people impacted.
1. The Haven: July 2021, Healthcare, Alcohol/Drug Abuse Treatment (Inpatient), Denver County, 7/9/2021, 4 resident cases, 1 staff case
2. Arbor View (020414): July 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 7/5/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
3. Canyon View Vineyard Church: June 2021, Religious Facility, Mesa County, 7/2/2021, 8 attendee cases
4. Casey's Pond Senior Living (23Y775): June 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Routt County, 6/30/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
5. Casey's Pond Senior Living LTC (020803): July 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Routt County, 7/9/2021, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
6. Colorado Horse Park, Outdoor Entertainment/Rec, Equestrian Club, Douglas County, 7/13/2021, 1 staff case, 5 attendee cases
7. Columbine Chateau Assisted Living (23D501): July 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Pueblo County, 7/9/2021, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
8. Evening's Porch LLC (23I527): July 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, La Plata County, 7/12/2021, 2 staff cases
9. Gerber Collision & Glass, Auto Repair, Pueblo County, 7/7/2021, 6 staff cases
10. Grand Villa Assisted Living (231132): July 2021, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 7/13/2021, 3 resident cases, 2 staff cases, 1 resident death
11. Heritage Park Care Center (020845): July 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Garfield County, 9 resident cases, 1 staff case, 1 resident death
12. Jefferson County Courts and Administration, Law Enforcement Administration, Jefferson County, 7/2/2021, 7 staff cases
13. Mantey Heights Rehabilitation and Care Center (021149): June 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Mesa County, 7/1/2021, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
14. Meeker Range Call, Fair/Festival/Temporary Mobile Event, Rio Blanco County, 7/8/2021, 7 attendee cases
15. Merryhill Preschool — Castle Rock, Child Care Center, Douglas County, 7/13/2021, 1 staff case, 4 attendee cases
16. Mesa County Traffic Services, Municipal/Local Government, Mesa County, 7/7/2021, 6 staff cases
17. Mountain View Community Church Vacation Bible School, Day Camp, Larimer County, 7/8/2021, 2 staff cases, 6 attendee cases
18. Parkmoor Village Healthcare Center (020542): July 2021, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, El Paso County, 7/12/2021, 5 resident cases, 5 staff cases
19. Sky Ranch at Ute Trail, Overnight Camp, Gunnison County, 7/8/2021, 5 staff cases, 4 attendee cases
20. Springs Ranch Memory Care Community (23Z839): July 2021, Healthcare, Memory Care, El Paso County, 7/8/2021, 2 staff cases
21. Springs Rescue Mission: June 2021, Homeless Shelter, El Paso, 7/7/2021, 15 resident cases, 2 staff cases
22. The Greeley Stampede, Fair/Festival/Temporary Mobile Event, Weld County, 7/13/2021, 13 attendee cases
23. The Mountain Mail: June 2021, Office/Indoor Workspace, Chaffee County, 7/12/2021, 5 staff cases
24. Walmart #1280, Retailer, Mesa County, 7/1/2021, 8 staff cases
25. Walmart #5099, Retailer, Mesa County, 7/13/2021, 6 staff cases
26. White River Field Office Bureau of Land Management Firefighters, Federal Firefighters, Rio Blanco County, 7/12/2021, 7 staff cases
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