5 new COVID-19 outbreaks reported as vaccination rate increases in Larimer County


The number of new COVID-19 outbreaks slowed to a trickle this week, with only a handful reported.  

None of the outbreaks — at Berthoud Fire Department, Chipper’s Lanes in Estes Park,  Mash Lab Brewing & Kitchen in Windsor, Veterinary Accounting Specialists and UCHealth Mountain Crest Behavioral Center — had more than three reported positive cases, according to data reported Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The county is not out of the woods, and there is concern after spring break and travel and more transmissible variants spreading in the community, said county health department spokesperson Kori Wilford.

“We don’t know where individuals traveled, how cautious they were there, or what their behaviors are when they returned,” she said. “If individuals used and continue to use public health recommendations to mitigate transmission, then that makes a huge difference and reduces the risk of events like spring break.”

There have been spikes after some holidays and no spikes after others, she said. “It really depends on our behavior as a community … a few superspreader events could radically change our direction.”

As of Wednesday, 26.1% of Larimer County residents have received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine, with 152,290 total vaccine doses going into arms so far, according to the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment’s online COVID-19 dashboard. Nearly 59,000 people, or 16.5% of county residents, are fully vaccinated, according to the health department.

But few people under 50 have been vaccinated, and “those groups are still very susceptible to transmission and widespread increase in cases,” Wilford said. A” plateau or slow-down in vaccination would also be very challenging. We don’t want to spike the football before we cross the goal line and undo all our hard work.”

Still, there is good news countywide. Hospitalizations and deaths are down, the weather is warming so people can spend more time outside, and the most vulnerable population, the elderly, are largely vaccinated. 

And this week, the state opened its only mass COVID-19 vaccination site operated in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at The Ranch In Loveland.

The site planned to vaccinate about 1,000 people per day Thursday and Friday but hopes to ramp up to twice that number next week and has capacity to provide about 6,000 vaccinations per day when supply allows. 

“We see cases dropping among our most vaccinated age groups,” Wilford said. “Schools are open and many businesses can function more normally. We just have to keep up the basics of what we’ve been doing to outrace the growth of more transmissible variants — masking, avoiding indoor spaces, reducing exposure to lots of people (especially indoors),” limiting gathering size, moving gatherings outdoors and gathering with vaccinated individuals.

Motorists receive COVID-19 vaccines at the mass vaccination site at The Ranch events complex in Loveland, Colo. on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

People currently eligible for vaccination can make an appointment at The Ranch or another provider through larimerhealth.secure.force.com/Vaccine or by calling 970-498-5500. If you are eligible but have transportation restrictions, transportation can be provided to you at little to no cost, according to county representatives. 

The following groups are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado: 

  • Anyone age 50 or older
  • Anyone age 16 and older with at least one high-risk health condition
  • Student-facing higher education faculty and staff
  • Food and restaurant employees 
  • Manufacturing workers
  • U.S. Postal Service employees 
  • Public and specialized transportation employees 
  • Public health employees 
  • Human services employees
  • People providing direct services to Coloradans experiencing homelessness 
  • Front-line journalists 
  • Select local and state government employees
  • Adults who received a placebo in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • Agriculture workers
  • Grocery store employees
  • Pre-K-12 educators, school staff and child care workers in licensed programs 
  • Health care workers
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents
  • First responders, including police, firefighters, correctional workers, funeral services workers and COVID-19 response personnel
  • Select members of the state executive and judicial branches 

Active COVID-19 outbreaks in Larimer County

Note: Asterisks indicate outbreaks newly reported sinceMarch 17. Bold entries indicate outbreaks with 10 or more confirmed and probable cases, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Advanced InteriorsWindsor

Anheuser Busch Brewery, Fort Collins

Auto Collision Experts

*Berthoud Fire Department

Berthoud High School

BJ’s Restaurant, Fort Collins (February 2021)

Blevins Middle School, Fort Collins

Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter, Fort Collins

Broadcom Inc., Fort Collins

Campion Academy, Loveland

CAVA restaurant, Fort Collins

Cheba Hut, Fort Collins (925 S. Taft Hill Road)

*Chipper’s Lanes, Estes Park

City of Fort Collins Operation Services Department 

City of Loveland Police Department

Colorado Microcircuits, Loveland

Colorado State University

Elliot’s Martini Bar, Fort Collins

Fort Collins High School (January 2021)

Fort Collins Jeep (March 2021)

Fort Collins Police Services

Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Collins

Fred Loya/ National Insurance, Fort Collins

Good Samaritan Society – Fort Collins Village senior living (February 2021)

Hach Company, Loveland (March 2021)

Home2 Suites by Hilton, Fort Collins

Jared – Galleria of Jewelry, Loveland

Jimmy John’s, Fort Collins (2337 S. Shields St.)

JMP Heat Inc., Loveland

Johnson Elementary School, Fort Collins

Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School, Fort Collins

Larimer County Community Corrections

Larimer County Jail

Larimer County Road & Bridge

Liberty Common Charter School (high school campus), Fort Collins

Lifespring Covenant Church, Loveland

Loveland Classical School – Lyceum Campus (February 2021)

Loveland Volleyball Club

*Mash Lab Brewing & Kitchen, Windsor

Naropa University/Shambhala Mountain Center Program

Northern Colorado Youth Hockey, Windsor

O’Dell and Co. CPA (office), Fort Collins

Phoenix Home Care and Hospice, Loveland

Poudre High School, Fort Collins (February 2021)

Precision Service Electric Inc.  Loveland

Premier Gymnastics, Loveland

Resurrection Christian School, Loveland

Ridgeview Classical Charter School

Rio Grande Mexican restaurant, Fort Collins

Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins

Scheels, Johnstown

Shepardson Elementary School, Fort Collins (March 2021)

The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm

The Home Depot, Fort Collins (4502 John F Kennedy Parkway) (January 2021)

The Sunshine House (CSU location), Fort Collins

The Urban Egg, Johnstown

Trader Joe’s, Fort Collins

*UCHealth Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center, Fort Collins

United Way of Larimer County

*Veterinary Accounting Specialists

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

Walmart Distribution Center, Loveland (November 2020)

Whole Foods Market, Fort Collins

Winona Elementary School, Loveland

Ziggi’s Coffee, Loveland (4201 N. Taft Ave.)

Coloradoan reporter Molly Bohannon contributed to this report. 

Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at patferrier@coloradoan.com. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.