Coronavirus

Third Omicron Virus Rising in Colorado as Many COVID Stats Worsen

Sharmar Village Care Center at 1201 West Abriendo Avenue in Pueblo has been named a COVID-19 outbreak site by the state health department.
Sharmar Village Care Center at 1201 West Abriendo Avenue in Pueblo has been named a COVID-19 outbreak site by the state health department. Google Maps
The COVID-19 statistics measured by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are moving back and forth like a dancer in a TikTok loop. But numbers related to hospitalizations and outbreaks are definitely on the rise again, and a third Omicron variant is gaining strength in the state.

Here are the current COVID figures in major categories, as updated by the CDPHE after 4 p.m.  April 27, along with information from our previous COVID data roundup, which drew from April 20 statistics:

1,380,892 cases (up 9,371 from April 20)
64 counties (unchanged from April 20)
61,970 hospitalized (up 156 from April 20)
12,142 deaths among cases (up 112 from April 20)
13,191 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 40 from April 20)
8,610 outbreaks (up 25 from April 20)

Four takeaways:

• New cases fell from 9,921 for the week ending April 20 to 9,371 for the seven-day span ending April 27. Overall, though, daily counts are still up substantially from the previous month. On March 20, the CDPHE counted 154 infections, less than a quarter of the 841 on April 20; yesterday, the amount landed at 593.

• New hospitalizations continued their modest upward trajectory, going from 117 on April 13 to 139 on April 20 to 156 on April 27. Daily admissions are climbing, too; there were just nine on April 20, but thirty on April 27.

• There's little consistency in data related to deaths. On April 20, deaths among cases actually decreased by one owing to recalculations by the state health department, but they jumped by 112 on April 27. In contrast, deaths attributed to COVID-19 tumbled from 61 on April 20 to forty on April 27.

• The percentages related to samples of COVID-19 sequenced by the CDPHE are in flux. The first breakdowns for the weeks of March 27 and April 3 included only two entries: the original Omicron strain subsequently dubbed Omicron 1 and a subvariant known as both Omicron 2 and stealth Omicron. But the department adjusted those reports to include a third Omicron variant referred to as both B.2.12.1 and BA.2.12.1 — and it's steadily gaining ground on the other two. According to the agency, the third Omicron variant accounted for 1.11 percent of samples on March 27, 8.45 percent on April 3 and 12.61 percent on April 10, the most recent week for which stats are available.

Westword has reached out to the CDPHE for more information about the third Omicron variant.

On April 21, the health department confirmed that a new statewide modeling report projects that cases will continue to increase, although officials are confident that immunity levels in Colorado from people who've recovered from the disease and the high percentage of immunized residents will prevent the sort of spikes seen earlier in the pandemic. But a potentially large group of people will need to be inoculated again because of problems related to Denver's Red Rock Pharmacy, which the CDPHE suspended from participation in its vaccination program on April 26 over a variety of alleged issues, including improper storage and handling of medication. Red Rock Pharmacy isn't a corner drug store, but a supplier for hospitals and nursing homes.

Those facilities dominate the CDPHE's survey of new COVID-19 outbreaks, updated on April 27. On April 20, new or tweaked outbreaks totaled twenty, and one of them dated to earlier in the year. The April 27 total was 36, with four outbreaks dating back to January. And the number of fresh outbreaks at health-care centers tripled, going from eight on April 20 to 24 on April 27. The list includes the first death recorded at a new outbreak site in a month; the fatality occurred at Sharmar Village Care Center in Pueblo, where cases involving 22 residents and 24 staff members have been documented.

Here are the 36 new or tweaked active outbreaks identified by the CDPHE on April 27, along with the date when the outbreak was cited and the people impacted:

1. Apple Store — Park Meadows, Retailer, Douglas County, 4/26/2022, 5 staff cases
2. Asbury Elementary School: January 2022, School, K-12, Denver County, 3/30/2022, 3 staff cases, 26 attendee cases
3. Ascension Lutheran Church in Littleton, Religious Facility, Arapahoe County, 4/21/2022, 10 attendee cases
4. Brookdale Greenwood Village Assisted Living (2304MV): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 4/25/2022, 10 resident cases, 1 staff case
5. Brookdale Littleton (2304SF): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 4/20/2022, 5 resident cases, 1 staff case
6. Brookdale Lowry (2304K7): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Denver County, 4/22/2022, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
7. Brookside Inn (0205US): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Douglas County, 4/12/2022, 4 resident cases, 3 staff cases
8. Bruce Randolph School: January 2022, School, K-12, Denver County, 1/10/2022, 5 staff cases, 30 attendee cases
9. Cappella of Grand Junction (23U246): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 4/18/2022, 2 staff cases
10. Cheyenne Mountain Center (020573): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 4/18/2022, 2 staff cases
11. Clear Creek Care Center (020401): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Adams County, 4/25/2022, 2 staff cases
12. Columbine West Health and Rehab Facility (020335): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Larimer County, 4/9/2022, 3 staff cases
13. Flagstaff Charter Academy: January 2022, School, K-12, Boulder County, 1/6/2022, 43 attendee cases
14. Fort Collins Good Samaritan Retirement Village-ALR (230329): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 4/21/2022, 4 resident cases, 2 staff cases
15. Frontier Valley Assisted and Independent Living (2304B1): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 4/22/2022, 1 resident case, 1 staff case, 1 attendee case
16. Holly Heights Care Center (020412): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 4/21/2022, 2 staff cases
17. Jenkins Middle School: April 2022, School, K-12, El Paso County, 4/21/2022, 6 attendee cases
18. Libby Bortz Assisted Living Center (2304GF): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 4/20/2022, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
19. Montage Hills (0204T9): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 4/20/2022, 1 resident case, 1 staff case
20. Montage Ridge (0204C5): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Jefferson County, 4/25/2022, 3 staff cases
21. New Mercer Commons (23036U): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Larimer County, 4/18/2022, 2 staff cases
22. Orchard Park Health Care Center (020468): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Arapahoe County, 4/20/2022, 3 resident cases
23. Parmalee Elementary School, School, K-12, Jefferson County, 4/21/2022, 4 resident cases, 1 staff case
24. Pueblo School for Arts & Sciences — Fulton Heights: January 2022, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 4/20/2022, 1 staff case, 14 attendee
25. Pueblo School for Arts & Sciences — Jones Campus, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 4/20/2022, 1 staff case, 28 attendee cases
26. Sharmar Village Care Center (020635): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Pueblo County, 4/18/2022, 22 resident cases, 24 staff cases, 1 resident death
27. Shepardson Elementary School: April 2022, School, K-12, Larimer County, 4/11/2022, 5 staff cases, 10 attendee cases
28. Sleeping Giant School: December 2021, School, K-12, Routt County, 3/16/2022, 7 staff cases, 36 attendee cases
29. Sloan's Lake Rehabilitation Center (02Q649): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 4/18/2022, 1 resident case, 4 staff cases
30. South Platte Health and Rehabilitation Center (020186): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Morgan County, 4/13/2022, 1 resident case, 2 staff cases
31. Sterling Health and Rehabilitation Center (020165): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Logan County, 4/21/2022, 2 staff cases
32. The Center at Foresight (02V727): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Mesa County, 3/24/2022, 1 resident case, 4 staff cases
33. The Center at Lowry (02G500): April 2022, Healthcare, Skilled Nursing, Denver County, 4/27/2022, 1 resident case, 4 staff cases
34. The Gardens at Columbine (2304QP): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 4/22/2022, 2 staff cases
35. The Retreat at Palisade (2311QG): April 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 4/22/2022, 3 staff cases
36. Villa Bella Expeditionary School, School, K-12, Pueblo County, 4/20/2022, 1 staff case, 30 attendee cases
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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