32 new COVID-19 outbreaks reported in Larimer County, but growth is slowing

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Editor’s note: Analyzing COVID-19 outbreaks in Larimer County each week takes time and resources. If you don’t already, please support the Coloradoan’s ability to provide this resource and continued coverage of the issues facing our community by purchasing a subscription today.

Growth in Larimer County COVID-19 outbreaks tapered off during the last two weeks of 2020, although the number of active outbreaks remains higher than ever.

The Larimer County health department reported 32 new outbreaks between Dec. 17 and Jan. 5, bringing the total count of active outbreaks to 129 as of Tuesday afternoon. Larimer County topped 100 active outbreaks for the first time in mid-December.

The newly reported outbreaks include 12 restaurants and retailers, six residential health care or senior living facilities, and four K-12 schools, among other types of facilities. The newly reported outbreaks with more than five confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases are:

  • Canyon Bakehouse, a Johnstown bakery, with 18 cases among staff, according to county data. The company couldn’t be reached for comment.
  • Preston Middle School in Fort Collins, with 20 cases, according to Poudre School District data. The county is reporting 12, but there is often a delay between outbreak growth and county reporting. 
  • Sugar Valley Estates, a Loveland retirement community, with 11 cases among residents. The facility didn’t respond to a request for comment.
  • Seven Lakes Memory Care Facility in Loveland, with eight cases (three among residents, five among staff). The cases were from November, and the community is COVID-19-free as of Monday, according to the facility.
  • Loveland Classical Schools Lyceum campus with seven cases (five among students, two among staff). School administrators didn’t respond to a request for comment.
  • McDonald’s, 3512 S. Timberline Road, with six cases among staff. All positive cases were reported in December, according to the restaurant. The location closed for a deep cleaning and has been following public health guidelines for operations, including regular sanitization of high-touch surfaces and use of personal protective equipment, a spokesperson told the Coloradoan.

There were 13 newly reported deaths in the county’s outbreak data: Nine at Sierra Vista Healthcare Center and four at Lemay Avenue Health & Rehabilitation. Representatives of both facilities said the current number of deaths connected to COVID-19 outbreaks is higher than the county tally.

Six residents of Lemay Avenue Health & Rehabilitation in Fort Collins died of COVID-19 in December, with the most recent on Dec. 31, said Yvonne Myers, director of health systems for Columbine Health Systems, which owns Lemay Avenue. The latest death was not included on the state’s outbreak data reported Dec. 30. 

The outbreak at Sierra Vista is the largest active COVID-19 outbreak in Larimer County, with 133 cases over the course of the pandemic, said Annaliese Impink, a representative of facility owner SavaSeniorCare. That’s up from 102 cases as of Dec. 18. The outbreak has included 17 resident deaths, Impink said. The county’s data reflects a lower number of cases and deaths than Impink shared with the Coloradoan because there is often a delay between outbreak growth and county reporting.

The majority of people who tested positive have now recovered, Impink said. Two residents and four staff are still infected. The center is scheduled to administer its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 15.

County-reported confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases tied to active outbreaks reached nearly 1,800 as of Tuesday, up about 16% from Dec. 17. That’s slower growth than the county logged in early December, when reported cases jumped 40% in a one-week period. Those totals don’t include additional cases reported to the Coloradoan by facilities that aren’t yet in county data or 1,545 cumulative cases attributed to Colorado State University in the county outbreak data. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, CSU has reported 1,826 total cases connected to the university since early June, according to its online COVID-19 dashboard.

It’s not clear if the taper-off effect is purely a result of the holiday slowdown — the number of tests conducted during the week of Dec. 25-31 was about 26% less than the number of tests conducted between Dec. 11-17 — or if the waning growth in outbreaks is also a sign of decreased community spread.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Larimer County’s 14-day average COVID-19 case rate has dropped to about 318 per 100,000 residents, down from a late November high of almost 1,000. The current case rate is similar to the county’s case rate at the beginning of November, a month of exponential transmission that triggered Level Red restrictions and fears about strained hospital capacity. 

The state lowered Larimer County restrictions to Level Orange on Monday.

Few existing outbreaks saw significant growth over the holidays. County-reported cases at Walmart’s Loveland distribution facility increased from 48 to 72. The outbreak at Larimer County Jail increased from 19 cases to 26 cumulative cases, with 12 of those cases among inmates and 14 among staff, according to county data.

There are six inmates currently in the jail who have tested positive for COVID-19, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson David Moore said on Tuesday. Three cases are linked to the outbreak, and three cases are people who came into the jail with a positive test result or were showing symptoms when they arrived and then tested positive. 

Tracker:Larimer County and Colorado COVID-19 case, vaccine and hospital data for January 2021

Nursing homes begin vaccinating staff, residents

Some skilled nursing and senior living communities are likely to see smaller or less frequent outbreaks in the coming months as they begin vaccinating staff and residents.

Columbine Health Systems, which owns Lemay Avenue Health & Rehabilitation and several other nursing homes in the area, was among the earliest nursing homes to receive and begin vaccinating staff and residents with the Pfizer vaccine. As of Tuesday afternoon, 95% to 98% of all residents have stuck their arms out, Myers said, but compliance among staff has lagged at about 50%, just about the national compliance rate among nursing home staff.

“Residents haven’t been afraid and their guardians haven’t been afraid,” she said. “We are hearing from staff that they will wait and see what happens with their co-workers. I have great faith (the percent of staff receiving the vaccine) will improve.”

Since they began vaccinating residents and staff in December, Columbine has given out 800 doses with no adverse reactions, Myers said.

By next Tuesday, everyone at Columbine’s nursing homes and assisted living centers who wanted a vaccine will have had an opportunity to get the first dose and some will have gotten their second dose, Myers said.

Seven Lakes Memory Care Center will begin vaccinating residents and staff at a Jan. 22 clinic administered by CVS.

“We are optimistic that the vaccine will serve as another tool in the fight against the coronavirus and an additional safeguard for residents and team members as Seven Lakes resumes in-person, indoor visits with those outside of our community,” said Constance Sablan, spokesperson for facility owner MBK Senior Living.

Skilled nursing facilities were the first to receive vaccine doses, followed by other senior living communities. Since Seven Lakes Memory Care is not a skilled nursing center, “we haven’t been fazed by the wait and look forward to our clinic on Jan. 22,” she said.

To date, Seven Lakes has received consent forms from the majority of residents “who are happy to get the vaccination,” Sablan said.

Some team members are skeptical, but many are planning to get vaccinated, she said. “They see it as just one more way they can care for our residents.”

View the full report of active and resolved outbreaks in Larimer County at https://www.larimer.org/health/communicable-disease/coronavirus-covid-19/larimer-county-positive-covid-19-numbers.

Feeling blue? Seeing red?:Here’s what the levels on Colorado’s COVID-19 ‘dial’ mean

Active COVID-19 outbreaks in Larimer County

Note: Asterisks indicate outbreaks newly reported since Dec. 17. Bold entries indicate outbreaks with 10 or more confirmed and probable cases, according to data from the Larimer County health department.

*Aeropostale, Loveland

Alumicolor, Fort Collins

Anhueser Busch Brewery- Fort Collins

*Aspen House 1 Memory Care/Assisted Living, Loveland

Aspyre at Rock Creek assisted living, Fort Collins

Associated Thermoforming Inc., Berthoud

*Athleta (retail store), Fort Collins

Bel Ami Salon, Fort Collins

Berthoud Living Center senior living provider

*Big 5 Sporting Goods, Fort Collins

Blevins Middle School, Fort Collins

Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter, Fort Collins

Boltz Middle School, Fort Collins

Boys & Girls Club Program at Truscott Elementary School, Loveland

*Boys & Girls Club – Pulliam, Loveland

Bright Horizons at West Fort Collins

Broadcom Inc., Fort Collins

Brookdale Fort Collins Assisted Living 

*Brookdale Fort Collins Memory Care

Brookdale North Loveland Assisted Living

Buffalo Wild Wings, Fort Collins

Cache La Poudre Middle School, Laporte

Cameron Peak Fire

Canvas Credit Union, Loveland

*Canyon Bakehouse (food manufacturing and packaging facility), Johnstown

Catholic Charities Women’s Temporary Shelter, Fort Collins

*Centre Avenue Health and Rehab, Fort Collins

Code 4 Security Services, Fort Collins

Colorado State University

Columbine West Health & Rehab Facility: November 2020

Cottonwood Plains Elementary School, Fort Collins

Courtyard of Loveland Assisted Living

Davidson-Gebhardt Chevrolet, Loveland

DaVinci Sign Systems LLC, Windsor

Dellenbach Motors, Fort Collins

*Dyecrest Dairy LLC, Fort Collins

Eagle’s Nest Assisted Living, Fort Collins

First National Bank, Fort Collins

Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, Fort Collins (2109 S. College Ave.) 

*Fort Collins Colorado Temple – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Fort Collins Health Care Center senior living center

Fort Collins High School

Fort Collins Jeep

Fort Collins Police Services

Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Collins

Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists, Loveland

*Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center, Loveland

*Good Times Burgers, Loveland (1355 N. Lincoln Ave.)

*Grease Monkey, Loveland (1100 Eagle Drive)

Hach Company, Loveland

*Happy Horse Tack Shop, Fort Collins

Harvest Farm, Wellington

Health District of Northern Larimer County Family Dental Clinic: November 2020

*Heritage Christian Academy, Fort Collins

Heritage Haus Assisted Living, Loveland

High Plains School, Loveland

Hillcrest of Loveland assisted living

*Hobby Lobby – Johnstown

Houska Automotive Services Inc., Fort Collins

Hubbard Feeds (Ranch-Way Feeds), Fort Collins

I-Kota Construction- Mason Place job site, Fort Collins

Interstates Construction Services, Fort Collins

JMP Heat Inc., Loveland

Larimer County Jail

Larimer County Sheriff’s Office

Lemay Avenue Health & Rehabilitation: November 2020, Fort Collins

Lesher Middle School, Fort Collins

Liberty Common High School, Fort Collins

Limagrain Cereal Seeds LLC, Fort Collins

Little People’s Landing Early Learning Center – Loveland (Editor’s note: This facility is located in Fort Collins, at 6606 Avondale Road.)

*Little People’s Landing Early Learning Center – East Boardwalk Drive, Fort Collins

*Loveland Classical Lyceum

Loveland Ford

Loveland High School

Lowes Home Improvement, Loveland

*Mary’s Little Lambs child care center, Fort Collins

*McDonald’s, Fort Collins (3512 S. Timberline Road)

Mountain View High School, Loveland

*New Mercer Commons assisted living, Fort Collins

New Vision Charter School, Loveland

Nordy’s BBQ & Grill, Loveland

North Shore Health & Rehab Facility: November 2020, Fort Collins

Northern Colorado Catering, Fort Collins

*Northwest Instruments and Controls Inc., Timnath

Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins

Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies – Fort Collins

Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies – Loveland

Pack A Dilly, Fort Collins

Park Regency Loveland Assisted Living

Pathways Hospice, Fort Collins (Editor’s note: All cases were at Pathways’ administrative offices, not a hospice setting, according to the facility’s president.)

Peace Love and Little Donuts, Fort Collins

Penrose Taphouse and Eatery, Fort Collins

Phase 2 Company (PK-8 site), Loveland

Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins

Poudre High School, Fort Collins

*Preston Middle School, Fort Collins

Pride Roofing & Construction, Loveland

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Fort Collins

Resurrection Christian School, Loveland

Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins

*Rustic Donut, Fort Collins

Sam’s Club, Fort Collins

Scheels, Johnstown

*Seven Lakes Memory Care: November 2020, Loveland

*Shepardson Elementary, Fort Collins

Sierra Vista Healthcare Center, Loveland

South Mesa Veterinary Hospital, Fort Collins

Sprouts Farmers Market, Fort Collins (2601 S. Lemay Ave.)

Studio Be Salon – Old Town, Fort Collins

*Sugar Valley Estates independent living facility, Loveland

Sunstate Equipment, Fort Collins

The Green House Homes at Mirasol skilled nursing facility, Loveland

The Home Depot, Fort Collins (1251 E. Magnolia St.)

The Meadows Veterinary Clinic, Windsor

*The Pizza Casbah, Fort Collins

The Summit Windsor

The Sunshine House, Fort Collins (2482 Miles House Ave.)

Trader Joe’s, Fort Collins

*UCHealth EBO Vendor

*Walgreens, Fort Collins (4502 S. College Ave.)

*Walgreens, Fort Collins (2190 W. Drake Road)

Walker Manufacturing, Timnath

Walmart, Fort Collins (1250 E. Magnolia St.)

*Walmart, Fort Collins (4625 S. Mason St.)

Walmart, Loveland (250 W. 65th St.)

Walmart, Timnath

Walmart Distribution Center: November 2020, Loveland

Wellington Veterinary Clinic

Wolf Robotics LLC, Fort Collins

Jacy Marmaduke covers government accountability for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @jacymarmaduke. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.