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Boulder County reports 94 new COVID-19 cases; state shows six new outbreaks
Daily Times-Call - 3/19/2021
Mar. 19—Boulder County on Thursday reported 94 new coronavirus cases, but no new deaths. Meanwhile, the state reported six new outbreaks.
Additionally, Boulder officials shared in a community meeting Thursday that, so far, they haven't seen a surge in cases tied to the March 6 University Hill riot.
The number of new cases reported Thursday brings the county's total to 19,856. The death toll remained at 250 people. As of Thursday, there were 20 people in Boulder County's hospitals because of COVID-19 — a slight rise from the 17 people reported to be in the hospital because of the virus Wednesday. Two COVID-19 patients were discharged on Thursday. To date, there have been a total of 647 residents hospitalized because of the virus. The average seven-day percent positivity rate was 3.5%.
Vaccination phase 1B.4 begins Friday
During the virtual community meeting Thursday, James Brown, Boulder risk manager, said starting Friday about 2.5 million Coloradans will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine under the state's 1B.4 vaccination phase. People who eligible to get the vaccine under this phase are people 50 and older, frontline essential workers, including those who work in restaurants, manufacturing, journalism, student-facing higher education faculty and staff, public transit, postal workers and critical government roles.
Mike Stratton, Boulder County Public Health spokesperson, said in an email Thursday that many providers are working through people who were eligible in earlier phases.
"Phase 1B.4 is an extremely large group," Stratton wrote. "While those people will be eligible to register for a vaccination, it could be some time (many weeks) before the vaccine supply makes it possible for everyone in 1B.4 who wants a vaccination is able to get their shot. "
March 6 riot
Since March 7 Boulder authorities have received more than 1,000 tips about the March 6 University Hill riot, where hundreds were seen not wearing masks or social distancing.
"Since March 6, the city and our partners at public health and CU have been closely tracking data to monitor for a possible COVID-19 outbreak," Brown said. "Our early assessment is promising. While the whole county is experiencing a slight increase in cases since the end of February, less than five out of 143 COVID-19 cases investigated thus far in March involve someone who was present at the March 6 riot on University Hill."
Additionally, he said waste water monitoring doesn't show a surge in cases at this time. Brown encouraged people to continue to follow public health orders, emphasizing that impacts from the riot may still be seen in the coming days.
Six new outbreaks
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its weekly outbreak report on Wednesday. The report showed new outbreaks at Applewood Living Center, a Longmont nursing home; Rosalee's Pizzeria, a Longmont restaurant; Shining Mountain Waldorf School, a K-12 school in Boulder; Studio Bernina, a Lafayette sewing school and fabric store; The Roost, a Longmont restaurant; and YMCA Youth Hockey Private club team in Lafayette.
Applewood Living Center's outbreak was reported to public health on March 10, according to state data. The report shows two cases among one resident and one staff member.
This is the third outbreak the nursing home, 1800 Stroh Place in Longmont, has faced, according to the state report. Applewood Living Center also had an outbreak in May, which was resolved in June and another outbreak reported in December, which was resolved in February, according to the state report.
Applewood Living Center didn't respond to requests for comment by publication deadline.
The outbreak at Rosalee's Pizzeria, 461 Main St. in Longmont, was reported Monday. The state report shows four staff cases.
Restaurant co-owner James Ross said that as soon as a positive test was discovered on March 10, the restaurant has been closed. He said all employees were tested and the restaurant has been working with Boulder County Public Health and the state to mitigate the outbreak.
Leading up to the situation, Ross said the restaurant was following all public health precautions and sanitizing heavily.
"We've been so, so cautious the entire time," Ross said in a phone interview Thursday. "We have super rigorous cleaning and sanitizing protocol with take-out customers, pens, opening the doors. Now, that we are open for dining, no one sits at a table until even the legs of the chairs are sanitized and the laminated menus. This was definitely a shock to us."
Customers were also notified via the restaurant's Facebook page March 10 of the outbreak situation. Ross said he plans to reopen the restaurant next week, possibly on Tuesday or Wednesday, but first, the business will be sanitized "from top to bottom."
The outbreak at Shining Mountain Waldorf School was reported March 11, state data showed. According to the report, there were a total of nine cases among three staff members and six attendees.
School Director Mary Eaton Fairfield said in an email that the affected classes and individuals were immediately quarantined. She said the outbreak was contained to only the initial groups affected and that there has been "no evidence of further spread outside of the initial groups to other grades or classrooms."
Since the start of the pandemic she said the school has worked closely with Boulder County Public Health and the state and has followed all guidelines. Fairfield said the school has also maintained small classroom cohorts and five days per week in-person learning experiences.
"We have employed multiple layered mitigation strategies since resuming in-person schooling in the fall, and until this point, those strategies have kept our school community COVID-19 free," she wrote. "This particular outbreak was surprising for the speed and number of people affected within a very short period of time. We know that the mode of transmission of COVID-19 has not changed and the number of cases has not gone up since the 12th."
At this time, Fairfield said school and public health officials don't know what might have caused the outbreak, but with the lack of new cases, school officials feel "confident" that it's coming under control.
"We are cautiously optimistic that this outbreak is under control and are looking forward to our affected students and families returning after their quarantines and our spring break," she wrote.
The outbreak at Studio Bernina was reported Monday. The state report shows three staff cases.
The sewing school and fabric store, 2850 Arapahoe Road in Lafayette, didn't respond to requests for comment by publication deadline. The business did post on its Facebook page on March 11 that Studio Bernina was closed through Saturday, "due to an exposure of COVID-19."
"We will be contacting individuals that were in store leading up to the exposure, cleaning the store, and continuing to take precautions upon reopening to keep our customers and our staff members safe," the post read.
The outbreak at The Roost was reported Monday. The state report showed four staff cases.
Business owner Sean Gafner wrote in an email that the four staff members are related and live together.
"As soon as one of them had symptoms we required that all four of them get tested and they have stayed away from work ever since," he wrote. "We asked all staff that may have been exposed to them to test and there have been no other cases or even symptoms."
Gafner added: "We are doing everything we can to run our restaurant above and beyond all state and county guidelines for safety. Our staff has already begun receiving the vaccine and those of us that haven't been able to are excited to begin the process this Friday!"
The outbreak at the YMCA Youth Private club team was reported March 11. The state report showed four attendee cases.
In a phone interview Thursday, Andra Coberly Webster, YMCA of Northern Colorado communications director, said this is the first outbreak to be reported in any of the Y's hockey programs this year.
"There were several high school hockey teams that had outbreaks, including the Centaurus High School Hockey Team," Webster said. "We have players on our club team that also play for the Centaurus team, so there was a little bit of a crossover. Our rink is also home to the Centaurus High School team."
Boulder Valley School District Communications Manager Carolyn Nohe said, "Yes there was overlap between the Centaurus hockey team and other hockey clubs. There were Centaurus hockey team positive cases that were reported starting March 4."
Webster said the club has taken a number of precautions, including having players wear masks on and off the ice, cleaning the lobby and benches in between each team use and working in coordination with Boulder County Public Health. Games and practices have been put on hold, until quarantine periods end, Webster said.
"We've been really working hard to make sure our programs are safe," she said, "whether it's summer camp or hockey, we've been working hard to avoid situations like this. It's unfortunate that something happened, but we are learning from it and continuing to implement the best practices we can."
The state report shows that there are 23 active outbreaks in Boulder County.
The state also reported four resolved outbreaks this week at:
— Accel at Longmont, a nursing home, resolved its outbreak on Tuesday.
— Altavita Memory Care Center, a memory care center in Longmont, resolved its outbreak on Tuesday.
— Boulder Manor, a Boulder nursing home, resolved its outbreak on March 12.
— RoughRiders 14/15 (Boys), an ice hockey sports team, resolved its outbreak March 11.
CU Boulder reported on its online dashboard that there were 12 positive test results found in Wednesday testing. There were also 1,856 monitoring tests and 136 diagnostic tests. Three campus isolation spaces, 1% of the university's reserve, were reported to be in use. Since Jan. 4, there have been 430 total positive test results; 58,682 monitoring tests and 7,405 diagnostic tests.
In the Boulder Valley School District there were 22 active outbreaks reported, according to its online dashboard. There are 318 quarantines among 291 students and 27 staff.
The St. Vrain Valley School District reported that there were 37 active cases among 36 students and one staff member, according to the district's dashboard. Since the start of the school year, there have been a total of 973 cases among 730 students and 243 staff.
Statewide, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported that there were 446,580 cases. There have been 6,142 deaths because of COVID-19. The state reported a total of 6,060 deaths among cases. There have been 24,289 people hospitalized. Of Colorado's more than 5.7 million population, there have been 2,662,341 people tested.
Boulder County vaccines
— Number of Boulder County residents immunized with a partial course of COVID-19 vaccine: 29,559 people or 10.8% of the eligible population.
— Number of Boulder County residents immunized with a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine: 48,677 people or 17.7% of the eligible population.
— Total number of Boulder County residents who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose: 78,236 people or 28.5% of the eligible population.
Boulder County Public Health updates its vaccine data on Mondays and Thursdays.
BVSD quarantines, active cases
BVSD elementary schools
— Birch: 1 active case; 20 students and 1 staff quarantined
— Columbine: 2 active cases; 19 students and 1 staff member quarantined
— Ryan: 3 active cases; 79 students and 2 staff members quarantined
— Superior: 1 active case; 22 students and 1 staff member quarantined
— University Hill: 1 active case; 21 students and 1 staff member quarantined
BVSD middle schools
— Angevine: 1 active case; six students quarantined
— Louisville: 1 active case; 1 student quarantined
— Southern Hills: 1 active case; 7 students and 6 staff quarantined
BVSD high schools
— Boulder: 1 active case; 32 students quarantined
— Fairview: 2 active cases; 13 students and 4 staff members quarantined
— Monarch: 1 active case; 14 students and 1 staff member quarantined
— Boulder High School Athletics: 1 active case; 28 students and 2 staff members quarantined
— Broomfield High School Athletics: 2 active cases; 20 students and 1 staff member quarantined
— Ed Center: 1 active case; 1 staff quarantined
— Maintenance: 1 active case; 5 staff quarantined
— Monarch PK8: 1 active case
— Peak to Peak: 1 active case; 9 students and 1 staff member quarantined
SVVSD active cases
SVVSD elementary school
— Centennial: 1 student case
— Fall River: 3 student cases
— Hygiene: 1 student case
— Longmont Estates: 3 student cases
— Mead: 3 student cases
— Northridge: 1 student case
— Red Hawk: 3 student cases
SVVSD middle school
— Altona: 2 student cases
— Coal Ridge: 1 student case
— Longs Peak: 3 student cases
— Westview: 1 student case
SVVSD high school
— Erie: 4 student cases
— Frederick: 3 student cases
— Mead: 2 student cases
— Silver Creek: 2 student cases
— Skyline: 1 student case
— Soaring Heights PK-8: 2 student cases
— Central Administration: 1 staff case
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