JBS And Greeley Nursing Home Report New Coronavirus Outbreaks

July 8, 2020
JBS Greeley Beef PlantJBS Greeley Beef PlantHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The JBS Greeley Beef Plant on Friday April 3, 2020.

After more than 200 employees were infected with COVID-19 at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley in April, the facility closed for cleaning and a period of quarantine.

This stopped the spread of the disease for a few weeks, but JBS is now seeing new cases, six among summer interns. According to Nikki Richardson, a spokesperson for JBS, the company believes the interns contracted the disease outside of work and spread it when socializing with each other.

All of the interns worked in the corporate office, not at the plant. While one did visit the plant, they did not contract the disease there.

The cohort of 26 interns are all housed in individual dorm rooms at Northern Colorado University. They all have been put under a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Following the outbreak, the internship has been moved online for the remainder of the summer. 

The resurgence of cases at JBS brings the total case count for the company’s northern Colorado location to 298. Seven employees — six plant workers and 1 corporate employee — have died from the disease. 

JBS is not the only facility where the coronavirus is seeing a resurgence. Centennial Health Care Center, a nursing home also in Greeley, reported its second outbreak on Thursday with eight residents and six staff testing positive for the disease.

In March, Centennial was home to one of the most severe outbreaks in the state with 76 confirmed cases and 20 deaths among residents.

According to Annaliese Impink, a spokesperson for Savas Health, which owns Centennial, the facility has reestablished an isolation unit for residents diagnosed with COVID-19. For the last three weeks, Centennial has tested all residents and staff on a weekly basis.

Centennial and the JBS internship program were among 15 new outbreaks reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Wednesday. They included three other elder care facilities, three health care facilities, two restaurants, one office, a landscape company, a warehouse, a hotel and a fabrication company. 

Overall, the number of new cases each day has ticked up, as has the number of people currently hospitalized. However, the percentage of tests coming back positive — often an early indicator of a more severe outbreak — has held relatively steady statewide.


New Colorado coronavirus outbreaks

The Creede Hotel and Restaurant

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/06/20
  • Type: Hotel and restaurant
  • County: Mineral
  • COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive

Centennial Health Care Center (second outbreak)

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/02/20
  • Type: Elder Care
  • County: Weld
  • COVID-19 cases: 8 residents positive, 6 staff positive, 1 staff probable

Colorado OBGYN Partners

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/07/20
  • Type: Health Care
  • County: Adams
  • COVID-19 cases: 6 staff positive

Colorado Pac Co.

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/07/20
  • Type: Warehouse
  • County: Denver
  • COVID-19 cases: 6 staff positive

Douglas County Parks and Trails Division

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/07/20
  • Type: Office
  • County: Douglas
  • COVID-19 cases: 4 staff positive

Greenways Landscape Services

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/02/20
  • Type: Hotel and restaurant
  • County: Mineral
  • COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive

Innovative Dental

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/02/20
  • Type: Health Care
  • County: Summit
  • COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive

JBS summer internship program

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/03/20
  • Type: Meatpacking plant and corporate offices
  • County: Weld
  • COVID-19 cases: 6 staff positive

The Kidney Center of Longmont

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/07/20
  • Type: Health Care
  • County: Boulder
  • COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive

Kip’s Grill

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/02/20
  • Type: Restaurant
  • County: Mineral
  • COVID-19 cases: 3 staff positive, 5 staff probable

Legacy Village of Castle Pines

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/07/20
  • Type: Elder Care
  • County: Douglas
  • COVID-19 cases: 7 residents positive, 1 staff positive

Medallion Post Acute Rehabilitation

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/06/20
  • Type: Elder Care
  • County: El Paso
  • COVID-19 cases: 2 residents positive, 3 residents probable, 7 staff positive, 5 staff probable

The Oberon House

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/07/20
  • Type: Elder Care
  • County: Jefferson
  • COVID-19 cases: 1 positive resident death, 1 staff positive

Pueblo Viejo

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/02/20
  • Type: Restaurant
  • County: Larimer
  • COVID-19 cases: 3 staff positive

Tile Art Granite Fabrication Shop

  • Date outbreak confirmed: 07/06/20
  • Type: Workplace
  • County: La Plata
  • COVID-19 cases: 2 staff positive, 1 staff probable

Editor's Note: This story and headline have been updated to clarify the timeline on which the 19 new COVID-19 cases appeared among JBS workers and where the company's interns were working.