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COVID-19 Update: CU Boulder Blows Past 1,300 Infections

One of the many beautiful outdoor spaces on the CU Boulder campus.
One of the many beautiful outdoor spaces on the CU Boulder campus.
University of Colorado Boulder via YouTube

The latest weekly COVID-19 outbreaks report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment includes almost forty new entries, the highest number in over four months. Many are linked to child-care centers, schools and colleges, as exemplified by flare-ups at four separate Greek houses affiliated with the University of Denver.

Still, the most jaw-dropping statistic involves the University of Colorado Boulder, site of previous outbreaks at dormitories, as well as multiple fraternities and sororities there — so many that on September 22, CU instruction temporarily transitioned from in-person teaching to remote learning for at least two weeks. According to CDPHE data shared on September 23, the number of students and staffers who've likely contracted the novel coronavirus now tops 1,300.

The CDPHE considers an entity an outbreak after two or more COVID-19 cases among residents, staffers or other people connected to a specific location 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.

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The department's weekly update released September 23 lists 717 outbreaks since the start of the pandemic: 162 active, 555 considered resolved. That's an increase of 36 from the 681 outbreaks on the September 16 tally, but there are actually 39 new listings. The discrepancy is explained by the CDPHE's decision to combine all of the CU Boulder items under a single heading, "University of Colorado Boulder Community Outbreak." As of now, twelve staff members and 1,198 students have tested positive, while another 104 are considered to have probable cases of the disease.

Two settings on the roster are experiencing their second outbreaks: Broomfield Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center, which suffered 48 positive resident cases, two probable resident cases, seventeen resident deaths, 27 positive staff cases and seven probable staff cases between April and July; and Redbird Farms, an Arapahoe County chicken-processing plant linked to ten positive staff cases and six probable staff cases in June and July.

Also on the CDPHE's radar are three child-care facilities, in Eagle, Pitkin and Broomfield counties, respectively, and seven K-12 schools scattered across El Paso, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Otero and Douglas counties. (One of the latter, Swink High School, named after the small town in which it's located, has registered as many as thirty cases among attendees.) At DU, meanwhile, outbreaks have been identified at Gamma Phi Beta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, and Zeta Beta Tau — and Chi Omega and Gamma Phi Beta at Colorado State University were flagged, too.

Other outbreaks of note include a Walmart pharmacy in Delta County, two restaurants in Douglas County, a United Airlines ground crew at Denver International Airport and a Weld County golf club associated with up to sixteen positive cases, plus a so-called "social gathering" in Snowmass and a Routt County wedding.

Here are this week's new outbreaks, along with information including the date each was identified:

1. Alpine ENT, PC, Active, Healthcare — Outpatient, Larimer County, 9/16/2020, 5 positive staff cases
2. Basalt Pre-School, Active, Child Care Center, Pre-School, Eagle County, 9/14/2020, 3 positive staff cases
3. BHH Partners, Planners, Architects, Active, Office/Indoor Workspace, Summit County, 9/19/2020, 6 positive staff cases, 1 probable staff case
4. Broomfield Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center (02R989): September 2020, Active, Healthcare — Skilled Nursing, Broomfield County, 9/21/2020, 3 positive resident cases, 1 positive staff case
5. The Classical Academy Cottage School Program, Active, School, K-12, El Paso County, 9/18/2020, 1 positive staff case, 1 positive attendee case, 1 probable attendee case
6. Colorado International Language Academy, Active, School, K-12, El Paso County, 9/17/2020, 1 positive staff case, 1 positive attendee case
7. Colorado Mechanical Systems, Inc, Active, Office/Indoor Workspace, Arapahoe County, 9/22/2020, 2 positive staff cases
8. Cross Mountain Outfitters, Active, Overnight Camp, Routt County, 9/17/2020, 2 positive staff cases
9. CSU — Chi Omega, Active, College/University, Sorority, Larimer County, 9/22/2020, 3 positive attendee cases
10. CSU — Gamma Phi Beta, Active, College/University, Larimer County, 9/22/2020, 5 positive attendee cases
11. Delta Building Centers, Active, Construction Company/Contractor, Delta County, 9/15/2020, 4 positive staff cases
12. Denver International Airport/United Airlines — Move Team, Active, Travel, United Airlines — Move Team, Denver County, 9/22/2020, 17 positive staff cases
13. Denver Public Schools — Collegiate Prep Academy, Active, School, K-12, Denver County, 9/17/2020, 4 positive staff cases
14. Evraz Pueblo, Active, Construction Company/Contractor, Steel Manufacturers, Pueblo County, 9/18/2020, 2 positive staff cases, 2 probable staff cases
15. Farmers Insurance, Active, Office/Indoor Workspace, Insurance Agency, Weld County, 9/18/2020, 3 positive staff cases
16. Flores and Perez Construction, Active, Construction Company/Contractor, El Paso County, 9/22/2020, 3 positive staff cases
17. Front Range Raynor Garage, Active, Home Maintenance Services, Larimer County, 9/15/2020, 2 positive staff cases
18. Growing Years, Active, Child Care Center, Pitkin County, 9/18/2020, 2 positive staff cases
19. Hampton Inn-Denver Northeast Brighton, Active, Hotel/Lodge/Resort, Adams County, 9/16/2020, 2 positive staff cases, 4 probable staff cases
20. J Street Biscuit Co., Active, Food Distribution, Larimer County, 9/21/2020, 2 positive staff cases
21. Mt San Rafael Hospital Construction Site, Active, Construction Site, Las Animas County, 9/15/2020, 8 positive staff cases
22. New Horizon Academy, Active, Child Care Center, Broomfield County, 9/18/2020, 1 positive staff case, 2 positive attendee cases
23. Northeast Elementary School, Active, School, K-12, Adams County, 9/17/2020, 3 positive staff cases
24. Overland High School, Active, School, K-12, Arapahoe County, 9/17/2020, 1 positive staff case, 1 positive attendee case
25. Parker Garage, Active, Restaurant — Sit Down, Douglas County, 9/14/2020, 2 positive staff cases
26. Pelicans Lake Golf Club, Active, Other, Country Club and Golf Course, Weld County, 9/22/2020, 3 positive staff cases, 13 positive attendee cases, 3 probable attendee cases
27. Redbird Farms: September 2020, Active, Meat Processing/Packaging, Chicken Processing Plant, Arapahoe County, 9/16/2020, 6 positive staff cases, 1 probable staff case
28. SkyView Academy, Active, School, K-12, Douglas County, 9/22/2020, 3 positive staff cases, 2 positive attendee cases
29. Snowmass Social Gathering, Active, Social Gathering, Pitkin County, 9/18/2020, 6 positive attendee cases, 10 probable attendee cases
30. Swink High School, Active, School, K-12, Otero County, 9/14/2020, 5 probable staff cases, 2 positive attendee cases, 28 probable attendee cases
31. Tailgate Tavern, Active, Bar/Tavern/Brewery, Douglas County, 9/18/2020, 2 positive staff cases
32. University of Colorado Boulder Community Outbreak, Active, College/University, Boulder County, 9/23/2020, 12 positive staff cases, 1198 positive attendee cases, 104 probable attendee cases
33. University of Denver — Alpha Phi, Active, College/University, Denver County, 9/22/2020, 4 positive attendee cases
34. University of Denver — Gamma Phi Beta, Active, College/University, Denver County, 9/22/2020, 3 positive attendee cases
35. University of Denver — Lambda Chi Alpha, Active, College/University, Denver County, 9/22/2020, 4 positive attendee cases
36. University of Denver — Pi Kappa Phi, Active, College/University, Denver County, 9/22/2020, 3 positive attendee cases
37. University of Denver — Zeta Beta Tau, Active, College/University, Denver County, 9/22/2020, 9 positive attendee cases
38. Walmart Pharmacy, Active, Healthcare — Outpatient, Pharmacy, Delta County, 9/18/2020, 2 positive staff cases
39. Wedding Routt County, Active, Social Gathering, Wedding, Routt County, 9/23/2020, 4 positive attendee cases

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