COVID-19: Outbreaks at King Soopers Company Stores Hit Ten

The King Soopers branch at 7984 West Alameda Avenue in Lakewood has been declared a COVID-19 outbreak.
The King Soopers branch at 7984 West Alameda Avenue in Lakewood has been declared a COVID-19 outbreak. Google Maps
The latest compilation of COVID-19 outbreaks released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment contains seventeen new entries, including yet another King Soopers store in the Denver metro area. That brings to ten the number of outbreaks at grocery stores owned by Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers — by far the biggest tally in the state linked to a single corporate entity.

The CDPHE considers a facility an outbreak after two or more COVID-19 cases among residents, staffers or the like are confirmed within a fourteen-day period, or two or more cases of respiratory illness with an onset of symptoms within a fourteen-day period are paired with at least one additional COVID-19 diagnosis.

The seventeen new outbreaks in the report, released late yesterday, June 17, is three more than the fourteen added on June 10, but a reduction in the 22 announced on June 3 and the 21 on May 28. The outbreak total now stands at 323, nearly quadruple the 83 cited in the first CDPHE list, issued on April 15. More than 120 of the outbreaks are categorized as resolved, including three at metro King Soopers stores (11747 West Ken Caryl Avenue and 8126 South Wadsworth Boulevard, both in Littleton, and the bakery at the 60 Yuma Street market in Denver) and a Summit County City Market — the name Kroger uses for grocery stores in locations west of the urban corridor.

The newest King Soopers outbreak is at 7984 West Alameda Avenue in Lakewood. It joins outbreaks under active investigation at three other King Soopers branches: 1155 East Ninth Avenue and 3100 South Sheridan in Denver, and 15051 East 104th Avenue in Commerce City. There are also active inquiries at City Market stores in El Jebel and Eagle.

Grocery stores have been a focus of concern ever since the pandemic began, but no other chain with a footprint in Colorado has seen anywhere close to the number of outbreaks that Kroger properties have experienced. Outbreaks have been documented at two Walmarts, one Safeway (plus a distribution center) and a single Costco.

As for other companies with multiple outbreaks, the standout is Chick-fil-A. Counting a new outbreak at a restaurant near C-470 and Kipling in Jefferson County, the fast-food business has four on the current roster; the others are in Arapahoe, Larimer and Adams counties. Most other fast-food restaurants in Colorado have avoided outbreaks, aside from a McDonald's in El Paso County, a Culver's in Weld County, an Arby's in Arapahoe County, and a Panda Express in Pueblo County that was just added to the list.

Other new outbreaks of note include Pasta Jay's, among Boulder's longest-surviving eateries; the University of Denver, where seven employees have tested positive; and Colorado Counter Tops in Arapahoe County, which registered three confirmed staff cases leading to one death.

Here are the latest additions, complete with the date the outbreak was identified:
1. Advance Auto Parts, Active, Other, Retail, El Paso County, 6/12/2020, 2 confirmed staff cases
2. Advantage Treatment Center, Active, Prison/jail, Community Corrections, Alamosa County, 6/17/2020, 3 confirmed resident cases, 5 confirmed staff cases
3. Blanca Potato Factory, Active, Other, Potato Warehouse, Costilla County 6/15/2020, 2 confirmed staff cases
4. Chic-Fil-A — C470 & Kipling, Active, Restaurant, fast food, Jefferson County, 6/17/2020, 2 confirmed staff cases 1 probable staff case
5. Colorado Counter Tops, Active, Other, Manufacturing, Arapahoe County, 6/13/2020, 3 confirmed staff cases, 3 probable staff cases, 1 confirmed staff death
6. Core-Mark International Inc., Active, Other, Distribution/Marketing Service, Adams County, 6/13/2020, 11 confirmed staff cases
7. Cornerstone Production Company, Inc., Active, Other, Agriculture, Yuma County, 6/11/2020, 3 confirmed staff cases
8. Friday Health Plans, Active, Office/indoor workspace, Alamosa County, 6/10/2020, 4 confirmed staff cases, 1 probable staff case
9. King Soopers #127, Active, Grocery store, Jefferson County, 6/15/2020, 2 confirmed staff cases
10. Loveland Steam Laundry, Active, Other, Steam Laundry, Larimer County, 6/12/2020, 6 confirmed staff cases, 1 probable staff case
11. Panda Express, Active, Restaurant, fast food, Pueblo County, 6/2/2020, 2 confirmed staff cases, 3 probable staff cases
12. Pasta Jay's, Active, Restaurant, other or unknown type, Boulder County, 6/14/2020, 2 confirmed staff cases, 2 probable staff cases
13. Plastics Inc., Active, Other, Pipe distributor, Adams County, 6/13/2020, 3 confirmed staff cases, 1 probable staff case
14. San Luis Care Center, Active, Healthcare, combined care, Alamosa County, 6/11/2020, 7 confirmed resident cases, 2 confirmed staff cases
15. University of Denver — Employees, Active, Other, University, Denver County, 6/15/2020, 7 confirmed staff cases
16. Victory Outreach Transitional Housing, Active, Group home, Weld County, 6/12/2020, 2 confirmed resident cases, 8 probable resident cases, 1 confirmed staff case, 1 probable staff case
17. Workforce Management, Active, Office/indoor workspace, El Paso County, 6/11/2020, 2 confirmed staff 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