COVID-19 outbreaks are decreasing in Larimer County — down nearly 50% from start of year

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The pack of active COVID-19 outbreaks continues to thin out in Larimer County, dropping again this week as the community recovers from the fallout of the November-December case surge.

There are now 67 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Larimer County, according to state health department data updated Wednesday. Since last week, 17 outbreaks shifted to resolved, meaning they hadn’t seen a new case in at least two weeks. The county logged six new outbreaks.

The newly reported outbreaks are at Creative Foam manufacturing in Berthoud, Inner Balance addiction treatment center in Loveland, Trumpet Behavioral Health in Fort Collins, Nike Factory Store in Loveland, La Luna Dairy in Wellington and Wally’s Speed Shop in Loveland. All are smaller outbreaks with four cases or fewer, according to the state data.

Administrator Lauren Shimp, right, locks hands with resident Jeff Hoffman, 70, after he received a COVID-19 vaccine at Columbine West Health & Rehab Facility in Fort Collins on Dec. 28.

Meanwhile, the outbreak at Sierra Vista Healthcare Center in Loveland, once the largest active outbreak in Larimer County, is now marked “resolved.” The outbreak topped out at 133 cases among residents and staff, with 17 deaths among residents, said Annaliese Impink, a spokesperson for facility owner SavaSeniorCare. The facility had its first vaccine clinic Jan. 15.

Outbreaks at five other skilled nursing and senior living communities also shifted to resolved.

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The outbreak at North Shore Health & Rehab Facility in Loveland appears to be the largest active outbreak in the county, with 159 cases and five deaths reported, but the case count likely reflects a significant number of false positives, said Yvonne Myers, director of health systems at facility owner Columbine Health Systems. 

The state pulled the plug on Curative Labs, which was performing testing for North Shore and many other long-term care facilities, after scrutiny revealed a high volume of false positive tests coming from the lab. North Shore’s cases suddenly spiked in early January, alarming Myers and others and causing concerns that a more-contagious coronavirus strain might have reached the facility. But further testing found no evidence of the alternate strain, and there have been no positive test results since the state lab started handling tests for that facility over the weekend.

“It’s not that we didn’t have positive tests and COVID, we just didn’t have that magnitude,” Myers said. “We’re not seeing COVID there anymore at this point. We’re grateful that the state testing started right away and we can feel great confidence in the results we’re getting.”

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The number of active COVID-19 outbreaks in Larimer County peaked at about 130 in early January, reflecting rising community spread and a case rate that topped 1,000 per 100,000 people around Thanksgiving. But the number of active outbreaks is now returning to levels seen before the November surge. 

The number of COVID-19 cases associated with active outbreaks also fell this week, from about 1,600 last week to about 1,520 as of Wednesday. That doesn’t include about 1,650 cases associated with Colorado State University staff, faculty and students.

Active COVID-19 outbreaks in Larimer County

Note: Asterisks indicate outbreaks newly reported since Jan. 14. Bold entries indicate outbreaks with 10 or more confirmed and probable cases, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

  • Anheuser Busch Brewery, Fort Collins
  • Aspyre at Rock Creek assisted living, Fort Collins
  • Athleta (retail store), Fort Collins
  • Berthoud Living Center senior living provider
  • Blevins Middle School, Fort Collins
  • Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter, Fort Collins
  • Boltz Middle School, Fort Collins
  • Broadcom Inc., Fort Collins
  • Canyon Bakehouse (food manufacturing and packaging facility), Johnstown
  • Center at Rock Creek skilled nursing facility, Fort Collins
  • Centre Avenue Health and Rehab, Fort Collins
  • Cheba Hut, Fort Collins (925 S. Taft Hill Road)
  • Citizen Printing, Fort Collins 
  • Colorado State University
  • Columbine West Health & Rehab Facility: November 2020
  • Costco, Timnath
  • Courtyard of Loveland Assisted Living
  • *Creative Foam (manufacturing/warehouse), Berthoud
  • DaVinci Sign Systems LLC, Windsor
  • DH Wholesale Signs, Fort Collins
  • Dyecrest Dairy LLC, Fort Collins
  • Ed Carroll Motor Co.
  • Elk Ridge Dentistry, Estes Park
  • First National Bank, Fort Collins
  • Fort Collins Health Care Center senior living center
  • Fort Collins Police Services
  • Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Collins
  • Good Samaritan Society – Loveland Village (retirement community)
  • Hach Co., Loveland
  • Henry’s Pub, Loveland
  • I-Kota Construction – Mason Place job site, Fort Collins
  • *Inner Balance addiction treatment center, Loveland
  • JMP Heat Inc., Loveland
  • *La Luna Dairy, Wellington
  • Larimer County Community Corrections
  • Larimer County Jail
  • Lemay Avenue Health & Rehabilitation: November 2020, Fort Collins
  • Liberty Common High School, Fort Collins
  • Loveland Youth Clinic
  • McDonald’s, Fort Collins (3512 S. Timberline Road)
  • Mountain View High School, Loveland
  • New Mercer Commons assisted living, Fort Collins
  • *Nike Factory Store, Loveland
  • North Shore Health & Rehab Facility: November 2020, Fort Collins
  • Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies, Fort Collins
  • Parry’s Pizza, Johnstown
  • Resurrection Christian School, Loveland
  • Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins
  • Sam’s Club, Loveland
  • Scheels, Johnstown
  • South Shields Dental, Fort Collins
  • Spring Creek Healthcare Center, Fort Collins
  • Studio West Dance Center, Fort Collins
  • Sugar Valley Estates independent living facility, Loveland
  • The Green House Homes at Mirasol skilled nursing facility, Loveland
  • The Home Depot, Fort Collins (4502 John F Kennedy Parkway)
  • The Home Depot, Loveland (1100 Nickel Drive)
  • The Home Depot, Fort Collins (1251 E. Magnolia St.)
  • Trader Joe’s, Fort Collins
  • *Trumpet Behavioral Health, Fort Collins
  • Trumpet Behavioral Health, Loveland
  • *Wally’s Speed Shop, Loveland
  • Walmart, Loveland (250 W. 65th St.)
  • Walmart, Fort Collins (1250 E. Magnolia St.) 
  • Walmart, Timnath
  • Walmart Distribution Center, Loveland
  • Wellington Veterinary Clinic

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.