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Boulder Manor, pictured Monday, is one of six Boulder County long-term care facilities whose residents or staff have tested positive for or considered a probably case of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Newly updated state data showed six Boulder Manor residents have died after being confirmed positive for the coronavirus. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
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Boulder County’s reported fatality toll attributed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 jumped by three on Wednesday, to 23.

Details, like age and gender, about the three most recent people to die from the disease were not immediately available.

Nineteen of the county’s 23 deaths have involved residents of long-term care facilities, and on Wednesday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its latest numbers on outbreaks at long-term care facilities.

For Boulder County, the two hardest hit remain Boulder Manor, in Boulder and The Bridge at Longmont.

Boulder Manor is shown by the state to have had six deaths, with 15 residents testing positive for COVID-19, and another 15 listed as probable. Among its staff, there have been 12 people confirmed positive, and 11 classified as probable.

The Bridge at Longmont also in the state’s report shows six deaths confirmed as COVID-19 victims, with a seventh deceased resident listed “probable” as a coronavirus victim.

The Bridge Assisted Living community in Longmont, pictured Monday, is one of six Boulder County long-term care facilities whose residents or staff have tested positive for the coronavirus or are considered a probably case. Newly updated state data released Wednesday shows six residents of the Bridge have died after testing positive for the new coronavirus and that a seventh who was considered a probable coronavirus case also has died.(Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

The numbers of positive cases and deaths for long-term care facilities reported by the state are not always completely in line, or up to date, with what the facilities are claiming independently.

For example, on April 15, CDPHE reported that Boulder Manor had seen one resident die with COVID-19, and 10 others test positive or termed probable for the disease. However, a representative of the company that owns Boulder Manor, the following day, said in fact there had at that point, been 12 positive cases among staff, and five deaths.

Esmerelda Lee, chief operating officer of Century Park Associates, the Cleveland, Tenn.-based company that owns the Bridge at Longmont, confirmed late Wednesday that it had lost six residents to COVID-19.

“We did have six of those residents with underlying conditions pass away form complications from the coronavirus,” Lee said. “I called every family member personally and just expressed our condolences.

“This is a difficult time for all of us. We mourn that loss, for sure.”

Lee said The Bridge staff has been “resolute” in caring for its residents during the pandemic, and that no staff have left since its onset, save those who were sick. According to the CDPHE, six of the staff have tested positive, and another seven are identified as probable.

“They are all committed to treating those residents with compassion and care,” Lee said. “They’re the true heroes in all this, the health care workers.”

Annaliese Impink, the executive vice president and chief experience officer at Sava Senior Care, the company that runs Boulder Manor, confirmed Boulder Manor’s death toll of six.

“We are doing everything in our power to protect our residents and staff,” she said in a statement. “This includes providing appropriate PPE. We are working diligently to take heightened precautions and to adhere to protocols outlined by the Center for Disease Control. We are also working closely with our local health department to prevent exposure and to protect all our residents and staff at the Center.”

She said Boulder Manor has increased communication with both resident representatives, staff, families and its partners. Upon confirming a positive case of COVID-19, she said, staff and families are notified as soon as possible.

“We are providing frequent updates and guidance to center teams so that they have the most current information, education and prevention protocols in place, including those from the Centers for Disease Control among other agencies,” she said. “Finally, the center has been provided with a Preparation Checklist for Reducing the Spread of Respiratory Illness and has been advised to exercise extreme diligence in compliance with CDC guidelines.”

At the county level, according to county health officials, there are now 409 residents who have tested positive or are probable for the virus, and 101 of those have required hospitalization. Also, 175 of those are identified as having recovered from the illness.

A news release from Boulder County health officials on Wednesday said work is ongoing to form “data-informed strategies” that best meet the needs of the individual local communities, as Gov. Jared Polis’s stay-at home order is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

“Health officials in the Denver Metro Area are working together to determine what a gradual easing of stay-at-home orders looks like in our region,” the release stated. “Our goal is to be as consistent as possible from county to county to help protect the health and economy of our communities. We will provide further information in the coming days.”

Statewide, CDPHE on Wednesday reported that Colorado’s death total has reached 508, with 10,878 having tested positive, 2,123 hospitalized in 56 of the state’s counties, and 123 outbreaks at state long-term care centers. State data shows that 50,645 of the state’s 5.7 million residents have been tested. That state data reflects reports received through Tuesday.

Numbers released both at the state and county level are believed to not show the true impact of the impact of the coronavirus, due to the fact that there is community spread, access to testing is limited and there is a lag time in data being returned to officials.


Deaths at Boulder County long-term care facilities

Balfour Living Communities, Louisville: 1, plus 1 listed as probable

Boulder Manor, Boulder: 6

Lifecare Center of Longmont: 1 probable

The Bridge at Longmont: 6, plus 1 probable

Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

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