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Sand Creek Elementary School is located at 8898 South Maplewood Drive in Highlands Ranch.
Sand Creek Elementary School is located at 8898 South Maplewood Drive in Highlands Ranch.
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COVID-19 Update: Colorado Calm Before the Back-to-School Storm?

The latest COVID-19 data shared by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment suggests that the state continues to hold its own in the battle against the novel coronavirus. But the stats generally reflect the period prior to the staggered reopening of schools, which has been intermittently troubled, with multiple facilities forced to institute isolation procedures and more only days after inviting kids back to class.

Among the hardest-hit jurisdictions is the Douglas County School District. Shortly after the Tri-County Health Department confirmed a positive case among the 100-plus unmasked, social-distance-ignoring attendees at an unauthorized Senior Sunrise event, a positive test at Sand Creek Elementary in Highlands Ranch has led to the quarantining of the entire sixth-grade unit, pupils and teachers included.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers in major categories from the CDPHE, updated on August 23:

55,143 cases
6,841 hospitalized
63 counties
669,994 cases
938,596 people tested
1,918 deaths among cases
1,815 deaths due to COVID-19
571 outbreaks

The CDPHE's newly enhanced COVID-19 website, touted by Governor Jared Polis during an August 21 press conference, notes that the 236 COVID-19 cases reported on August 22 were down by 38 from the previous day; the 265 seven-day moving average of cases dropped 16 from the previous week; and the 71.3 cumulative two-week incidence of the virus per 100,000 people sank 0.9 over the previous 24 hours. And while the state positivity rate of 2.72 per 100,000 was up .38, it remained well under the 5.0 threshold considered a warning sign.

Here's a detailed breakdown of case figures for the previous ten days:

August 22 — 236
August 21 — 274
August 20 — 324
August 19 — 336
August 18 — 286
August 17 — 237
August 16 — 164
August 15 — 350
August 14 — 276
August 13 — 392

The CDPHE site now offers enhanced details about daily hospitalizations, as well as the total of those under care at a medical facility on a given date. Here are those details:

August 23 — 19 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 22 — 5 patients admitted to the hospital, 18 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 21 — 42 patients admitted to the hospital, 19 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 20 — 26 patients admitted to the hospital, 16 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 19 — 15 patients admitted to the hospital, 14 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 18 — 7 patients admitted to the hospital, 16 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 17 — 20 patients admitted to the hospital, 19 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 16 — 13 patients admitted to the hospital, 18 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 15 — 13 patients admitted to the hospital, 18 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital
August 14 — 15 patients admitted to the hospital, 21 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Current hospitalizations:

August 23, 2020

225 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/Persons Under Investigation)
157 (69.78 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
68 (30.22 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 22, 2020

258 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
148 (57.36 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
110 (42.64 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 21, 2020

236 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
156 (66.10 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
80 (33.90 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 20, 2020

238 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
146 (61.34 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
92 (38.66 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 19, 2020

262 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
151 (57.63 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
111 (42.37 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 18, 2020

245 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
153 (62.45 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
92 (37.55 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 17, 2020

240 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
163 (67.92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
77 (32.08 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 16, 2020

264 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
167 (63.26 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
97 (36.74 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 15, 2020

236 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
167 (70.76 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
69 (29.24 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 14, 2020

265 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
170 (64.15 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
95 (35.85 percent) Persons Under Investigation

Whether these stats will remain as relatively stable as they've been over the past couple of weeks is unknown — but amid a return to in-person learning, early indications are certainly worrisome. Both the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University have been hit with outbreaks related to their respective athletic departments — and a CSU frat house was flagged by the CDPHE.

And Sand Creek Elementary isn't the only school with problems. Students who had contact with a teacher at Westminster's Hodgkins Learning Academy who tested positive are now in quarantine. Positive tests have been recorded at Windsor Middle School in northern Colorado. And Soaring Eagles Elementary in Colorado Springs is slated to reopen today after a four-day closure related to a COVID-19 positive, though a small group will remain under quarantine until September 8 — the same date that Fort Lupton High School and Burlington Middle School will be limited to remote learning owing to instances of the virus.

The strain is already showing. The Douglas County School District has now pushed the start of school for high school students who chose 100 percent remote learning from August 24 to August 31. And no one will be surprised if more timelines at DCSD and other districts around the state continue to shift for weeks or months to come, especially if the state's overall performance against COVID-19 starts to deteriorate.

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