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COVID-19: Denver Neighborhoods With the Most Cases So Far

Editor's note: Several days after the publication of this post, Denver Public Health discovered a glitch in its entry of data related to COVID-19 cases per neighborhood. The correct statistics can be found in our June 16 post "Denver Neighborhood COVID-19 Cases Are Higher Than We Thought." Continue for our previous coverage.

On May 1, Westword tallied the number of COVID-19 cases by Denver neighborhood in order to get a better sense of the disease's impact citywide. Four weeks later, on May 29, we updated the count, learning in the process that no corner of the Mile High has gone untouched by the pandemic. But our latest look at the figures is dramatic in a different way, revealing some major shifts that offer greater insight about hot spots in the metro area.

The Civic Center neighborhood had by far the highest rate of the novel coronavirus, according to the Denver COVID-19 summary page on May 28: 61.6 per 1,000 residents, based on 146 positive cases. Two weeks later, on June 11, the rate was listed at 4.2 per 1,000 people, and the case count fell to just ten.

That's not the way the math is supposed to work, given that the data is cumulative. But while this was the most extreme instance of dropping rates, it's not the only one. A hefty percentage of Denver neighborhoods now have case totals slightly or substantially lower than they did on May 28, with both Five Points (132 then, 81 now) and Hilltop (85 then, 48 now) representing the largest alterations.

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What's the explanation for these swings? Tammy Vigil, a spokesperson for the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, offers a couple of possible explanations tied to virus-related deaths, whose totals have shifted in parallel with positive cases. According to Vigil, Denver's Office of the Medical Examiner "had to make adjustments because initial reports indicated someone had died of COVID-19, but then the death certificate had no mention of COVID-19."

She adds that "the OME also made adjustments because decedents’ residences were initially reported in Denver. But when mortuaries and families work together to complete that portion of the death certificate, it sometimes changes from what was initially reported. Let’s say the person died in a long-term care facility in Denver. But the family says no, that was not his home, he was just in rehab there and is actually from Westminster. So the OME has to strike that one from its count."

The same explanations apply to infection reports. Because most of those in the Civic Center neighborhood who tested positive were homeless, for instance, the previous total didn't provide much insight into the level of COVID-19 among full-time residents.

Under the current calculations, there have been a total of 6,129 positive cases in Denver as of June 11, with 297 resulting in death. According to DDPHE stats, Montbello is currently the neighborhood with both the most infected individuals (544, up from 445 on May 28) and the highest rate per 1,000 (16.0, rising from 13.1 two weeks ago). And while the rate in Gateway/Green Valley Ranch is considerably lower (10.8, a jump from 8.9 on May 28), the case count saw a similar spike, going from 377 to 456 in just fourteen days.

These results are further evidence of the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on communities of color.

Here's the latest list of COVID-19 data from Denver neighborhoods, which are ranked from lowest to highest case rate. The current number of cases and comparisons to May 28 stats are also included.

University Park
Case Count 8 (14 on May 28)
Case Rate 0.8 (1.5 on May 28)

Wellshire
Case Count < 5 (5 on May 28)
Case Rate 1.2 (1.5 on May 28)

University
Case Count 13 (15 on May 28)
Case Rate 1.3 (1.5 on May 28)

City Park
Case Count 5 (10 on May 28)
Case Rate 1.4 (2.9 on May 28)

University Hills
Case Count 9 (9 on May 28)
Case Rate 1.5 (3.1 on May 28)

Platt Park
Case Count 9 (unchanged since May 28)
Case Rate 1.5 (unchanged since May 28)

Washington Park West
Case Count 11 (13 on May 28)
Case Rate 1.5 (1.8 on May 28)

Highland
Case Count 27 (not included on May 28)
Case Rate 2.0 (not included on May 28)

Cherry Creek
Case Count 16 (22 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.0 (2.8 on May 28)

Stapleton
Case Count 55 (90 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.0 (3.3 on May 28)

Belcaro
Case Count 10 (8 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.0 (1.6 on May 28)

Cory-Merrill
Case Count 9 (10 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.1 (2.3 on May 28)

Country Club
Case Count 7 (8 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.1 (2.4 on May 28)

Baker
Case Count 15 (13 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.3 (2.0 on May 28)

Central Business District (CBD)
Case Count 11 (12 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.3 (2.5 on May 28)

Rosedale
Case Count 7 (12 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.4 (4.2 on May 28)

Speer
Case Count 32 (37 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.4 (2.8 on May 28)

Regis
Case Count 11 (7 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.5 (1.6 on May 28)

Congress Park
Case Count 28 (30 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.5 (2.7 on May 28)

Hampden South
Case Count 45 (33 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.5 (1.9 on May 28)

Montclair
Case Count 16 (not included on May 28)
Case Rate 2.6 (not included on May 28)

Overland
Case Count 7 (5 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.6 (1.8 on May 28)

Sun Valley
Case Count < 5 (5 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.6 (3.2 on May 28)

Washington Park
Case Count 20 (24 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.7 (3.2 on May 28)

Capitol Hill
Case Count 46 (47 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.7 (2.8 on May 28)

West Highland
Case Count 29 (31 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.8 (3.0 on May 28)

South Park Hill
Case Count 27 (33 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.8 (3.4 on May 28)

Union Station
Case Count 27 (unchanged since May 28)
Case Rate 2.9 (2.7 on May 28)

Jefferson Park
Case Count 18 (15 on May 28)
Case Rate 2.9 (2.4 on May 28)

Hale
Case Count 25 (30 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.0 (3.6 on May 28)

Fort Logan
Case Count 28 (41 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.0 (3.0 on May 28)

Southmoor Park
Case Count 17 (30 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.0 (5.4 on May 28)

Virginia Village
Case Count 46 (113 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.2 (7.8 on May 28)

Berkeley
Case Count 31 (37 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.3 (4.0 on May 28)

North Capitol Hill
Case Count 27 (35 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.4 (4.4 on May 28)

Lowry Field
Case Count 31 (45 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.5 (5.1 on May 28)

Sloan Lake
Case Count 30 (28 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.6 (3.4 on May 28)

Cheesman Park
Case Count 34 (44 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.8 (4.9 on May 28)

Five Points
Case Count 81 (132 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.9 (6.3 on May 28)

North Park Hill
Case Count 40 (46 on May 28)
Case Rate 3.9 (4.5 on May 28)

Civic Center
Case Count 10 (146 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.2 (61.6 on May 28)

Chaffee Park
Case Count 18 (14 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.2 (3.3 on May 28)

Indian Creek
Case Count 14 (16 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.2 (4.8 on May 28)

City Park West
Case Count 25 (38 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.3 (6.6 on May 28)

Goldsmith
Case Count 29 (45 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.4 (6.8 on May 28)

Marston
Case Count 32 (26 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.4 (3.6 on May 28)

Whittier
Case Count 24 (27 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.4 (5.0 on May 28)

Hampden
Case Count 91 (118 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.5 (5.8 on May 28)

Sunnyside
Case Count 51 (52 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.6 (4.6 on May 28)

West Colfax
Case Count 66 (64 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.7 (4.6 on May 28)

Hilltop
Case Count 48 (85 on May 28)
Case Rate 4.8 (8.4 on May 28)

Skyland
Case Count 18 (21 on May 28)
Case Rate 5.0 (5.9 on May 28)

Washington Virginia Vale
Case Count 78 (76 on May 28)
Case Rate 5.3 (5.2 on May 28)

Bear Valley
Case Count 52 (45 on May 28)
Case Rate 5.3 (4.6 on May 28)

Lincoln Park
Case Count 38 (33 on May 28)
Case Rate 5.3 (4.6 on May 28)

Auraria
Case Count < 5 (unchanged since May 28)
Case Rate 5.5 (unchanged since May 28)

Cole
Case Count 30 (27 on May 28)
Case Rate 5.7 (5.1 on May 28)

Kennedy
Case Count 30 (22 on May 28)
Case Rate 5.8 (4.3 on May 28)

Globeville
Case Count 26 (23 on May 28)
Case Rate 6.0 (5.3 on May 28)

Clayton
Case Count 32 (24 on May 28)
Case Rate 6.4 (4.8 on May 28)

DIA
Case Count 11 (7 on May 28)
Case Rate 6.7(4.3 on May 28)

Harvey Park South
Case Count 61 (63 on May 28)
Case Rate 6.7 (6.9 on May 28)

Villa Park
Case Count 68 (59 on May 28)
Case Rate 7.1 (6.1 on May 28)

Windsor
Case Count 111 (104 on May 28)
Case Rate 7.7 (7.2 on May 28)

Northeast Park Hill
Case Count 73 (103 on May 28)
Case Rate 7.7 (10.9 on May 28)

Mar Lee
Case Count 107 (98 on May 28)
Case Rate 7.8 (7.2 on May 28)

East Colfax
Case Count 90 (79 on May 28)
Case Rate 8.0 (7.0 on May 28)

Harvey Park
Case Count 101 (76 on May 28)
Case Rate 8.1 (6.1 on May 28)

Elyria Swansea
Case Count 61 (55 on May 28)
Case Rate 8.8 (7.9 on May 28)

Barnum
Case Count 60 (44 on May 28)
Case Rate 8.9 (6.5 on May 28)

Ruby Hill
Case Count 106 (93 on May 28)
Case Rate 9.6 (8.4 on May 28)

College View/South Platte
Case Count 73 (57 on May 28)
Case Rate 9.9 (7.7 on May 28)

Gateway/Green Valley Ranch
Case Count 456 (377 on May 28)
Case Rate 10.8 (8.9 on May 28)

Barnum West
Case Count 71 (56 on May 28)
Case Rate 12.0 (9.4 on May 28)

Athmar Park
Case Count 129 (107 on May 28)
Case Rate 13.2 (10.9 on May 28)

Westwood
Case Count 247 (206 on May 28)
Case Rate 13.6 (11.4 on May 28)

Valverde
Case Count 62 (53 on May 28)
Case Rate 14.4 (12.3 on May 28)

Montbello
Case Count 544 (445 on May 28)
Case Rate 16.0 (13.1 on May 28)

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