The latest outbreak report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment documents hard hits by COVID-19 at Colorado State University. A campus fraternity house has been declared an outbreak, as has the entire CSU athletics program, with the school's football program instituting a two-week practice pause as a result.
The CDPHE considers an entity 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 latest update, released on July 29, includes 27 new entries, bringing the total to 473 since the beginning of the pandemic; should the same number be added next week, Colorado will reach the 500 outbreaks benchmark. This week's total is lower than last week's 32, however.
The CSU fraternity is Kappa Sigma, at 801 South Shields Street in Fort Collins; the CDPHE cites seven positive resident cases there. As for the athletic program, the department calculates nine positive COVID-19 diagnoses and eight probables. But CSU spokesperson Dell Rae Ciaravola, corresponding via email late on July 29, offers a different estimate of stricken students in a bullet-pointed rundown:
• CSU has tested more than 270 athletes since June 3. Of these tests, 13 student athletes have tested positive as of July 29
• All students who tested positive were directed to self-isolate
• None of the students are seriously ill and all but five have recovered
• Sports involved are football, women’s basketball and volleyball
"CSU’s public health and athletics officials require all student athletes to participate in COVID-19 public health education and training before they have permission to participate in practices and other activities," Ciaravola adds. "This training emphasizes the importance of public health orders such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands and avoiding close contact, such as through gatherings."
Initially, CSU expected that the practice schedules of the various teams affected would continue without interruption. But within hours of the CDPHE's release, the football program announced that practices would be put on pause for the next two weeks. In a statement, Joe Parker, the university's athletic director, emphasized that "we are taking this step to voluntarily pause football activities to minimize the opportunity for this virus to spread any further. We will always put the health and safety of our student-athletes and community first, and while we are disappointed to see this spread occur within our program, we remain encouraged for the continued collaboration we have experienced with our University’s Pandemic Preparedness Team, and local, county and state health officials."
With outbreaks in other major football programs popping up around the country (a new one at Rutgers is being linked to an off-campus party) and the Ivy League moving competitions to the springtime, the situation at CSU casts even more doubt on the prospect of fall sports at colleges in Colorado and beyond.
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There are also warning signs for schools considering reopening soon with outbreaks at a trio of child-care centers, one each in Jefferson, El Paso and Teller counties. Two of the three facilities report positive cases among attendees in addition to staffers, demonstrating the vulnerability of even very young children to the virus.
Other notable outbreaks made public on July 29 include the first Wendy's, Starbucks and Applebee's stores to be impacted, as well as the Delta County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado State Patrol (no details have yet been shared about the specific office). Other outbreaks have been confirmed for a horseshoe business, a youth services center, an Elks Lodge and a youth football team in Logan County.
Clearly, COVID-19 doesn't discriminate against gridiron participants on the basis of age. Here are the latest additions to the list, along with the date when the outbreak was identified:
1. Alpine Living Center (020410), Active, Healthcare — Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 7/24/2020, 6 positive resident cases, 5 positive staff cases
2. AmeriGas, Active, Office/Indoor Workspace, Larimer County, 7/24/2020, 5 positive staff cases, 1 probable staff case
3. Applebee's #84063, Active, Restaurant — Sit Down, Weld County, 7/15/2020, 4 positive staff cases
4. Bethesda Lutheran — Caley ICF (06H512), Active, Healthcare — Facility for Developmentally Disabled (inpatient), Intermediate Care Facility, Arapahoe County, 7/27/2020, 3 positive resident cases, 1 positive staff case, 1 probable staff case
5. Be Quick Horseshoeing, Active, Other, Animal Service Provider, Larimer County, 7/27/2020, 2 positive staff cases
6. Bunting Disposal, Active, Other, Garbage Collection, Weld County, 7/28/2020, 2 positive staff cases
7. Center at Northridge (02I148), Active, Healthcare — Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 7/28/2020, 4 positive resident cases
8. Colorado State Patrol, Active, Law Enforcement, Other Details are pending, 7/22/2020, 3 positive staff cases
9. Cradle to Crayons, Active, Child Care Center, Jefferson County, 7/28/2020, 2 positive staff cases, 1 probable staff case, 2 attendee cases
10. CSU — Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Active, College/University, Larimer County, 7/23/2020, 7 positive resident cases
11. CSU Athletics Program, Active, College/University, Larimer County, 7/21/2020, 8 positive attendee cases, 9 probable attendee cases
12. Delta County Sheriff's Office, Active, Law Enforcement Administration, Sheriff's Office, Delta County, 7/22/2020, 3 positive staff cases
13. Englewood Elks Lodge 2122, Active, Indoor Entertainment/Rec, Members only club, Arapahoe County, 7/21/2020, 4 positive attendee cases, 1 probable attendee case
14. Fleming Football, Active, Youth Sports Club/Team, Youth Sports Club/Team, Logan County, 7/24/2020, 3 positive staff cases
15. Gunnison Mcdonalds, Active, Restaurant — Fast Food, Gunnison County, 7/23/2020, 3 positive staff cases, 3 probable staff cases
16. Jabil Healthcare, Active, Office/Indoor Workspace, El Paso County, 7/28/2020, 6 positive staff cases
17. Just for Kid's Childcare, Inc., Active, Child Care Center, Teller County, 7/21/2020, 1 positive staff case, 2 positive attendee cases, 1 probable attendee case
18. Kid's Corner, Active, Child Care Center, El Paso County, 7/27/2020, 2 positive staff cases
19. Lewis Bolt & Nut Company, Active, Non-Food Manufacturer/Warehouse, Otero county, 7/20/2020, 3 positive staff cases
20. Medline Industries Distribution Center, Active, Distribution Center/Business Distribution Center, Arapahoe County, 7/21/2020, 5 positive staff cases, 21 probable staff cases
21. Pueblo Youth Services Center, Active, Correctional, Other, Pueblo County, 7/14/2020, 4 positive resident cases, 3 positive staff cases
22. Q3 Contracting Inc/Primoris Services Corporation, Active, Construction Site, Construction site and office, Adams County, 7/24/2020, 3 positive staff cases
23 .Quikrete, Active, Non-Food Manufacturer/Warehouse, Concrete Manufacturer, Adams County, 7/28/2020, 6 positive staff cases, 1 probable staff case
24. Sandstone Care, Active, Healthcare — Rehab Facility, Young Adult Rehab Center, Denver County, 7/14/2020, 2 positive staff cases, 1 probable staff case
25. Smile Dentistry, Active, Healthcare — Outpatient, Dentist Office, El Paso County, 7/27/2020, 5 positive staff cases
26. Starbucks, Active, Restaurant — Fast Food, Larimer County, 7/23/2020, 3 positive staff cases, 1 probable staff case
27. Wendy's 11595, Active, Restaurant — Fast Food, Douglas County, 7/28/2020, 3 positive staff cases