Coronavirus

COVID-19 Outbreaks Still Happening Over and Over Again

Cheyenne Manor, a nursing facility at 561 West 1st Street North in Cheyenne Wells, is experiencing its first COVID-19 outbreak.
Cheyenne Manor, a nursing facility at 561 West 1st Street North in Cheyenne Wells, is experiencing its first COVID-19 outbreak. Google Maps
The latest COVID-19 statistics from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reveal 35 newly reported outbreaks of the disease over the past week, mostly at health-care centers that specialize in senior care — one of the few types of facilities that still share information on spreads. Of that total, only three are experiencing their first COVID-19 outbreak.

The other 32 have been through this drill at least once before, and often many more times than that. For instance, Applewood Place, an assisted-living specialist in Jefferson County, is currently on its sixth documented COVID-19 outbreak, following previous infections in November 2020, September 2021, November 2021, December 2021 and May 2022.

Here are the latest numbers from the CDPHE in major categories, updated after 4 p.m. yesterday, September 14. They're juxtaposed with data from our previous COVID-19 roundup, which drew from August 31 stats.

1,642,492 cases (up 4,889 from September 7)
68,370 hospitalized (up 179 from September 7)
13,230 deaths among cases (up 38 from September 7)
13,936 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 24 from September 7)
9,728 outbreaks (up 35 from September 7)

Four takeaways:

• The new-case count of 4,889 for the week ending September 14 is down substantially from the 6,587 recorded over the week ending September 7, and daily totals have fallen, too. The last day on which more than 1,000 infections were recorded was August 31; the department counted 745 on September 13.

• Hospitalizations dipped as well, sliding from 210 on September 7 to 179 on September 14. A separate metric calculates the number of people hospitalized during the week of September 13 at 159, a modest decrease from 187 on September 6. Likewise, the average number of people being admitted for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms went from around fifty last week to 44.

• Unfortunately, more fatalities were recorded for both deaths among cases (38, compared to 26 on September 7) and deaths due to COVID-19 (24, versus 21 on September 7).

• The state's seven-day-average positivity rate of 5.14 percent is the closest it's gotten to the 5 percent level the CDPHE prefers not to exceed in many months. But because fewer results are being shared with state health reps, this metric is less meaningful than earlier in the pandemic. Meanwhile, the CDPHE has added a new subvariant — BA.2.75, which is related to Omicron 4 — to its data dashboard. During the week of August 21, it accounted for 0.75 percent of samples sequenced by the department, with two other Omicron 4 subvariants adding 3.76 percent and 6.77 percent. However, 88.72 percent of samples were traced to Omicron 5.

The latest COVID-19 booster is specifically designed to protect individuals against the Omicron strain, and the state is hoping to encourage Coloradans to get it at large community vaccination sites — an option officials have downplayed for much of 2022. The booster is available at Ball Arena and Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the Denver area, as well as six other major locations statewide; click for more details.

The total of 35 new or tweaked outbreak listings shared by the CDPHE in its September 14 report was slightly higher than the 32 reported on September 7. Cheyenne Manor, a nursing facility in Cheyenne County, as well as Memorial group home in Prowers County and Jefferson County's Garden Care Homes are the only places on the roster that hadn't previously gone through an outbreak.

Here are the new or tweaked outbreaks identified by the CDPHE, including information about categories, county of origin, and the date when the spread was officially recognized. The department no longer provides information about the overall number of infections or deaths and whether they pertain to residents, staff members or attendees.

1. Applewood Place (23D467): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 9/8/2022
2. Atria Westminster (23B428): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Adams County, 8/29/2022
3. Balfour at Littleton (23M124): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 9/9/2022
4. Belleview Heights Alzheimer's Special Care (23R712): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 9/6/2022
5. Belmont Lodge Healthcare Center (020619): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Pueblo County, 9/13/2022
6. Bent County Correctional Facility: September 2022, State Prison, Bent County, 9/12/2022
7. Berthoud Care and Rehabilitation (020388): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Larimer County, 9/7/2022
8. Bookcliffs House (05O624): September 2022, Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Garfield County, 9/6/2022
9. Brookdale Fort Collins Assisted Living (2303WA): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 8/25/2022
10. Cheyenne Manor (020214): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Cheyenne County, 9/9/2022
11. Comfort Care Assisted Living and Memory Care (2311RP): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 9/9/2022
12. Devonshire Acres Skilled Nursing (020193): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Logan County, 8/30/2022
13. Fowler Health Care (020219): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Otero County, 9/8/2022
14. Frasier Meadows Health Care Center (020301): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Boulder County, 9/9/2022
15. Good Samaritan Society — Loveland Village Assisted Living (230373): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 9/12/2022
16. Greenridge Place (23Y387): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 9/7/2022
17. Gunnison Valley Health Assisted Living (23R871): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Gunnison County, 9/2/2022
18. Harvard Square Retirement Community (230428): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 8/26/2022
19. Life Care Center of Littleton (0204RB): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Arapahoe County, 9/13/2022
20. Marycrest Assisted Living (2304ST): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 9/6/2022
21. MeadowView of Greeley (23N615): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 9/1/2022
22. Memorial (05H133), Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Prowers County, 9/6/2022
23. Millbrook Homes (2304UX): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 8/30/2022
24. Mount St. Francis Nursing Center (020506): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, El Paso County, 9/1/2022
25. Nightingale Suites (2304F8): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 9/9/2022
26. Park Regency Thornton (23Q568): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Adams County, 9/9/2022
27. Prestige Care Center of Fort Collins (020367): August 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Larimer County, 9/7/2022
28. Robert Russell Eastern Star — Masonic Center of Colorado (2304HP): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 9/9/2022
29. Sunshine Gardens West Assisted Living (2312W2): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, La Plata County, 9/9/2022
30. The Gardens Care Homes — Quaker Acres (23X286), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 8/31/2022
31. The Goddard School — Arvada (Ward Rd): July 2022, Child Care Center, Jefferson County, 7/2/2022
32. The Lodge at Greeley (23R710): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Weld County, 8/31/2022
33. The Retreat at Church Ranch (2304LF): August 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 9/1/2022
34. Village at Belmar (23Z408): September 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 9/6/2022
35. Washington County Nursing Home (020162): September 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Washington County, 9/6/2022
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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