More than 850 deaths associated with nearly 300 COVID-19 outbreaks in Colorado

Virus Outbreak Washington
Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 18:22:43-04

DENVER — Deaths associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in Colorado have reached over 850, with 683 lab-confirmed case deaths and 175 probable case deaths, according to the latest outbreak data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The vast majority of those deaths in Wednesday's outbreak data continue to stem from long-term nursing facilities, making up more than 50% of the total COVID-19 deaths in the state.

MORE | CDPHE Outbreak Data

Health officials have confirmed a total of 3,702 cases of COVID-19, and an additional 1,860 probable cases among the 291 outbreaks in the data released Wednesday. Of the 291 outbreaks, 64 of those are listed as "resolved," with 227 active outbreaks, according to the CDPHE.

The Sterling Correctional Facility remains the center of the state's largest outbreak of the virus, with 560 inmates testing positive. Three inmates at the facility have died from the infection. Staff members have also been impacted, with 29 of them testing positive. Three people working at the facility have died.

Colorado's second-largest outbreak is the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, where 273 cases have been reported. Six workers have died directly from the virus, and six others have died with COVID-19 being the probable cause.

The massive beef slaughterhouse was shuttered April 10 for two weeks for cleaning and testing after at least two deaths and several positive cases among workers. Employees, community groups, and the union all raised concerns about the decision to reopen the facility in the wake of the outbreak. However, the plant's 6,000 employees returned to work on April 24, with a large segment of workers untested.

COVID-19 is impacting other food processing plants in Colorado. Mountain States Rosen Company, a lamb processing plant in Weld County, Rocky Mountain Natural Meats in Adams County, and Cargill meatpacking facility in Fort Morgan have seen a combined total of at least 104 positive cases.

The Cargill plant is reporting four deaths linked directly to the virus and four other deaths listed as probable causes.

Retail and grocery stores in Colorado are also seeing outbreaks. King Soopers/City Market has a total of 69 positive cases with 12 probable cases. A total of six employees – three lab-confirmed cases, and three likely cases – have died from COVID-19. Two of those deaths have been at the King Soopers in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood, which has seen the largest amount of cases (13) among the grocers' retail locations.

Other grocery stores seeing large outbreaks are Mi Pueblo Market in Thornton (20), Walmart in Aurora (16), Food King in Weld County (10), and H-Mart in Westminster (9).

Long-term care facilities have seen the most significant impact from the virus. More than 50% of the state's COVID-19 deaths have come from nursing homes.

Of the nursing facilities on the CDPHE outbreak list, Cherry Creek Nursing Center, located at 14699 E Hampden Ave in Aurora, continues to show the highest number of fatalities, with 33 resident deaths confirmed to be or probably linked to COVID-19. That number has stayed the same from last week. However, the number of cases at the center has increased slightly from 83 (confirmed and probable cases) last week to 87 (confirmed and probable cases) this week.

Fifty-nine staff members (confirmed and probable cases) at the 218-bed facility have been infected, according to the CDPHE data.

In April, the CDPHE released an amendment to the public health order for long-term care facilities, which require them to submit COVID-19 prevention and response plans.

Key elements of the public health order include limiting visitors to these types of facilities, at-the-door symptom checks for all employees, and isolation plans for positive cases.