Coronavirus

Boulder Residents Urged to Wear Masks Because of High COVID Levels

The Redbubble website offers a wide variety of Deion Sanders COVID face masks, butnone (yet) that are University of Colorado-centric.
The Redbubble website offers a wide variety of Deion Sanders COVID face masks, butnone (yet) that are University of Colorado-centric. redbubble.com
As of today, December 8, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorize fifteen Colorado counties, including Boulder, as having high levels of COVID-19. The CDC recommends that residents of such areas wear masks in public places, and Boulder County Public Health offered similar advice on December 1, when the community spread again climbed into the high zone. But as witnessed by the lack of face coverings at the December 4 introduction of new University of Colorado Boulder football coach Deion Sanders, the suggestions haven't been universally embraced.

According to the Boulder County Public Health advisory: "Residents are encouraged to wear a mask in public — especially immunocompromised individuals, people over 60 years old and those with existing health conditions at high risk for severe disease. Individuals at increased risk of getting severely sick should ensure they are up to date on COVID and influenza vaccinations, talk to their health care provider ahead of time or as soon as possible after testing positive about how to access antiviral medication, consider avoiding non-essential or crowded indoor activities, and use a mask when in public."

Most of Colorado's 64 counties are at low or medium levels of COVID spread, according to the CDC. In addition to Boulder, the other exceptions are Rio Blanco, Garfield, Mesa, Eagle, Pitkin, San Juan, Dolores, Montezuma, La Plata, Archuleta, Pueblo, Fremont, Phillips and Sedgwick.

Meanwhile, many of the statewide metrics related to COVID-19 as tracked by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are rising, including outbreaks, and the virus continues to splinter, with the combination of two relatively new strains now officially accounting for the majority of infections.

Here are the updated CDPHE numbers in major categories from December 7:

1,713,257 cases
72,146 hospitalized
13,681 deaths among cases
14,370 deaths due to COVID-19
10,263 outbreaks

And these are the details for the past seven days:

Cases reported this week: 8,183, up 675
Cases reported for previous weeks: 409
Seven-day positivity rate: 12.1
Currently hospitalized: 399, up 41
New hospital admissions: 851, up 65

Four takeaways from comparison of the new data to that of our previous roundup, which drew from November 30 stats:

• Weekly case counts continue to hover above the 8,000 mark, as they've done for a month or so, even though most infected individuals now use home tests whose results aren't reported to the CDPHE.

• The two metrics related to new COVID-19 fatalities both show increases. The 72 deaths among cases of COVID-19 on December 7 are up from the average of 51 over the previous two weeks, and the sixty deaths directly attributable to the disease compares to 43 on average over the same span.

• The state's seven-day average positivity rate of 12.1 percent is down slightly from 12.6 percent on November 30 but more than double the 5 percent mark the CDPHE prefers not to exceed.

• Hospital stats are split. The number of people currently hospitalized for COVID care went from 440 for the week of November 30 to 399 on December 7. But new hospital admissions bumped up from 789 to 851 during the same period.

Meanwhile, samples sequenced by the CDPHE reveal that Omicron 5, which once accounted for the lion's share of cases, is no longer dominant in Colorado. During the week of November 13, the most recent for which statistics are available, it was linked to 24.83 percent of positive tests, while the emergent BQ.1 and BQ1.1 variants landed at 21.38 percent and 30.34 percent, respectively. Six other strains registered at fewer than 10 percent apiece.

On December 7, the CDPHE revamped its vaccine-data dashboard, with stats slated for updates on a weekly rather than daily basis. The current numbers show that 23.6 percent of Coloradans eighteen and older have taken the newish bivalent booster shot — a mediocre performance, but better than the country as a whole. As of November 24, about 14 percent of folks age eighteen and above have gotten the injection nationwide.

COVID outbreaks continue to be declared with a frequency that compares to the period before the state health agency stopped reporting spread at schools and businesses in July. The December 7 survey includes 57 new or tweaked entries, above the average of 52 for the two previous weeks. As usual, most of the sites are health-care facilities that specialize in senior care.

Here are the 57 new or tweaked outbreaks identified by the CDPHE on December 7, including information about categories, county of origin, and the date when the spread was officially recognized. The department no longer provides details regarding the overall number of infections or deaths, or whether they pertain to residents, staff members or attendees.

1. Academy University Hill (2303OR): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 12/5/2022
2. Advanced Health Care of Aurora (02D982): November 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Arapahoe County, 11/29/2022
3. Applewood Our House 4 (23M589): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 12/2/2022
4. Applewood Our House Assisted Living Facility II (23O617): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 12/2/2022
5. Assisted Living at Spring LLC (23D512): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 11/29/2022
6. Assisted Living of Denver (23O672), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 12/2/2022
7. Berkley Manor Care Center (020419): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Denver County, 12/6/2022
8. Berthoud Care and Rehabilitation (020388): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Larimer County, 12/5/2022
9. Brookdale Briargate (2305B9): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 12/1/2022
10. Brookdale Greenwood Village Assisted Living (2304MV): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 12/5/2022
11. Brookdale Littleton (2304SF): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 12/2/2022
12. Brookdale University Park (230490): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 12/2/2022
13. Caley (06H512): November 2022, Healthcare, Intermediate Care, Arapahoe County, 12/2/2022
14. Cinnamon Park (230367): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 12/1/2022
15. Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home — Rifle (020855): November 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Garfield County, 12/5/2022
16. Community Alternatives of El Paso County: November 2022, Correctional, El Paso County, 12/3/2022
17. Constant Care III Loma Linda (2305FX), Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 12/5/2022
18. Constant Care IV Woodburn (2305U1): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 12/5/2022
19. Frasier Meadows Health Care Center (020301): November 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Boulder County, 11/23/2022
20. Fremont Home Care, Inc (23R156), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Fremont County, 12/6/2022
21. Good Samaritan Society Estes Park Village (23L115): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 11/29/2022
22. Good Samaritan Society Fort Collins Village (020314): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Larimer County, 12/5/2022
23. Health Center at Franklin Park (020439): November 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Denver County, 11/30/2022
24. Heritage Park Care Center (020845): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Garfield, 11/14/2022
25. HighPointe Assisted Living & Memory Care (23M205): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 12/1/2022
26. Hildebrand Care Center (020666): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Fremont County, 12/6/2022
27. Jacob J And Anne B Walter Memorial Living Center (2301LU): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Sedgwick County, 12/2/2022
28. Julia Temple Healthcare Center (020418): November 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Arapahoe County, 11/29/2022
29. La Villa Grande Care Center (021161): October 2022 #2, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Mesa County, 10/28/2022
30. Lakewood Reserve (23R738): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 11/29/2022
31. Lakewood Villa (020443): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Jefferson County, 11/29/2022
32. Legacy Village of Castle Pines LLC (23O530): November 2022 #2, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Douglas County, 11/30/2022
33. Life Care Center of Greeley (0203TL): November 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Weld County, 12/2/2022
34. Life Care Center of Stonegate (02C450): November 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Douglas County, 11/21/2022
35. Mackenzie Place — Fort Collins (23Z789): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 12/2/2022
36. Mount View Youth Services Center: November 2022, Correctional, Jefferson County, 11/10/2022
37. Mountain Vista Assisted Living & Memory Care (2304SY): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 11/23/2022
38. New Mercer Commons (23036U): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 11/29/2022
39. Park Hill Residence (2304GP), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 12/2/2022
40. Parkview Care Center (020440): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Denver County, 12/6/2022
41. Peachtree Assisted Living LLC #1 (231117): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 12/5/2022
42. Pine Ridge Extended Care Center (0212V8): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Archuleta County, 12/1/2022
43. Point of the Pines Gardens Assisted Living (23B948): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 11/30/2022
44. Pueblo Regional Center — House E (0506CR): November 2022, Healthcare, Intermediate Care, Pueblo County, 11/30/2022
45. Ridge Pinehurst LLC (23Q698): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 11/29/2022
46. RMCC (233XFG), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 12/5/2022
47. Second Street RTF (2304P8): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 12/5/2022
48. Seven Lakes Memory Care (23S218): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 11/30/2022
49. Skyline Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (020682): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Fremont County, 12/6/2022
50. Sopris Lodge at Carbondale (23TDI7): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Garfield County, 12/5/2022
51. Sundance Skilled Nursing And Rehabilitation (020546): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, El Paso County, 12/6/2022
52. Sunrise Assisted Living of Boulder (23H563): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 12/2/2022
53. Sunrise at Orchard (2304NM): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 11/28/2022
54. The Carillon at Boulder Creek Assisted Living (23V719): December 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 12/5/2022
55. The Lodge at Grand Junction (23W782): November 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 12/6/2022
56. University Heights Rehab and Care Community (020447): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Arapahoe County, 12/2/2022
57. Washington County Nursing Home (020162): December 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Washington County, 12/6/2022
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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

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