Boulder Warns Of Growing Coronavirus Cases As Outbreaks Continue Statewide

June 17, 2020
The clock on The Hill in BoulderThe clock on The Hill in BoulderHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The clock on The Hill in Boulder, Colorado Nov. 13 2019. On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the Boulder County Health Department said that the majority of the new COVID-19 cases were in college-age people living in the University Hill neighborhood.

As the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues to mostly trend downward in Colorado, public spaces and large gatherings have become a growing concern for coronavirus outbreaks and case surges.

Wednesday morning, the Boulder County Health Department reported a reversal of its downward trend of COVID-19 cases. Prior to June 10, the county reported the second-lowest new case rate in the Metro Denver area. As of Wednesday Boulder County reported the third-highest case increase. 

County health officials note that the majority of the new cases were in college-age people living in the University Hill neighborhood, which is directly across from the University of Colorado Boulder campus and is popular with students. 

Some of those newly infected people had recently traveled out of state or attended large events. According to Chana Goussetis, a spokesperson for the Boulder Health Department, those events included both protests of racism and police brutality and large parties. 

“It’s important to remember that this virus is still active in our community and we all need to take personal responsibility to follow the orders and guidance. Our personal actions can have social, economic, and health consequences for the entire community,” Jeff Zayach, the Boulder County Public Health executive director said in a press release.

Statewide, new outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred primarily in workplaces and public commercial facilities where people congregate. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified 16 new outbreaks this week, defined as two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases within a facility in a 14-day period. 

The facilities with new outbreaks included four warehouse or factory facilities, three stores, three offices, two restaurants, one group home, one nursing home, one farm and one correctional facility.

Public places have represented an increasing portion of outbreaks since late May when the state first began loosening stay at home orders. Elder-care facilities, which accounted for nearly all recorded COVID-19 outbreaks in March and April, have seen few new outbreaks in June. 

Of the 323 cumulative outbreaks thus far, 129 have been resolved, meaning that the facility went more than 28 days without a new case of COVID-19 and provided outbreak data to CDPHE. Though many outbreaks are now under control, some facilities have struggled to get a handle on the disease. 

The Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimmons, a nursing home for veterans in Aurora operated by the state, first discovered an outbreak on April 29, but more than two months later, the number of deaths among COVID-19-positive residents continues to climb. A total of 59 residents have tested positive for the disease and eight have had suspected cases. Of those, 22 people have died.

JBS, a meat-packing plant in Greeley, has also seen an uptick in cases among employees. The facility first reported an outbreak on April 3. After a period with no new cases the facility has now reported seven new cases since the beginning of June. A total of 280 JBS meat-packing employees have been infected along with five employees in the corporate office. Seven of the employees with confirmed infections died.


New Outbreaks — June 17, 2020

*Due to lags in reporting from county health departments some newly disclosed outbreaks in this list are from earlier weeks.

Date outbreak confirmed: Unknown Facility: Mission Foods Type: Food manufacturing County: Pueblo COVID-19 cases: 6 staff positive Note: This facility was included in CDPHE’s list last week.

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/12/20 Facility: Advance Auto Parts Type: Retail County: El Paso COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/17/20 Facility: Advantage Treatment Center Type: Corrections County: Alamosa COVID-19 cases: 3 residents and 5 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/15/20 Facility: Blanca Potato Factory Type: Warehouse County: Costilla COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/17/20 Facility: Chick-Fil-A C470 & Kipling Type: Restaurant County: Jefferson COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive, 2 staff probable

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/13/20 Facility: Colorado Counter Tops Type: Manufacturing County: Arapahoe COVID-19 cases: 3 staff positive, 3 staff probable, 1 death

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/13/20 Facility: Core-Mark International Inc. Type: Distribution County: Adams COVID-19 cases: 11 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/12/20 Facility: Cornerstone Production Company, Inc Type: Agriculture County: Yuma COVID-19 cases: 3 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/10/20 Facility: Friday Health Plans Type: Office County: Alamosa COVID-19 cases: 4 staff positive, 1 staff probable

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/15/20 Facility: King Soopers #127 Type: Grocery store County: Jefferson COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/12/20 Facility: Loveland Steam Laundry Type: Service County: Larimer COVID-19 cases: 6 staff positive, 1 staff probable

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/14/20 Facility: Pasta Jay’s Type: Restaurant County: Boulder COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive, 2 staff probable

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/13/20 Facility: Plastics Inc. Type: Distribution County: Adams COVID-19 cases: 3 staff positive, 1 staff probable

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/11/20 Facility: San Luis Care Center Type: Nursing Home County: Alamosa COVID-19 cases: 7 residents positive, 2 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/15/20 Facility: University of Denver (employees) Type: University County: Denver COVID-19 cases: 7 staff positive

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/12/20 Facility: Victory Outreach Transitional Housing Type: Group Home County: Weld COVID-19 cases: 2 residents positive, 8 residents probable, 1 staff positive, 1 staff probable

Date outbreak confirmed: 06/11/20 Facility: Workforce Management Type: Office County: El Paso COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive