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The Bridge at Longmont resolves coronavirus outbreak as another long-term care facility reports new cluster

Applewood Living Center in Longmont added to outbreak list Monday


The number of coronavirus-related deaths in long-term care facilities in Boulder and Broomfield counties continued to rise this week.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data released Wednesday shows there have been 48 coronavirus-related deaths among long-term care facility residents in Boulder County — up four from last week. Broomfield saw five more death cases as compared to last week, which had 18 deaths reported.

Boulder County has had 255 people associated with long-term care facilities in Boulder County test positive or be considered probable for COVID-19, according to Chana Goussetis, Boulder County Public Health’s spokesperson. This is an increase of 22 cases, as compared to last week, she said.

There are 42 long-term care facilities in Boulder County, not including senior living or independent living communities. Goussetis said a new outbreak was reported this week, bringing the total number of active outbreaks in long-term care facilities to eight. A ninth Boulder County facility resolved its outbreak.

The Bridge at Longmont reported its outbreak resolved as of May 12. While the outbreak was active, the facility reported eight coronavirus deaths and one probable death. For an outbreak to be resolved, a facility must have no one become ill with the coronavirus for 28 days, Goussetis said.

Lori Follett is the regional director of resident care for Century Park Associates, which The Bridge is part of. She commended her “courageous” staff and thanked them for their dedication in helping residents recover. Follett added that they are excited to see residents return from rehabilitation after battling the virus.

Among facilities with active outbreaks, the Peaks Care Center continues to have the most deaths reported. The facility has had a total of 16 coronavirus deaths and one probable death — up three from last week. Forty-eight residents have tested positive and one is probable for the coronavirus. Additionally, 33 staff members have tested positive for the virus, according to state data.

State data shows the most recently reported outbreak at a Boulder County long-term care facility is at Applewood Living Center in Longmont, where four residents have tested positive. Another resident is considered a probable case, and one staff member also is considered a probable case. A call to the facility requesting comment was not returned Thursday.

Goussetis said the county is “working diligently” to stop the spread of the disease in long-term care facilities.

“We have created a team of infection prevention specialists who are in regular contact with each facility to ensure their using the best possible infection control practices to prevent the spread of disease, as well as helping them understand and comply with the requirements of CDC, CDPHE and public health orders,” Goussetis said. “We are currently working to facilitate large scale testing of staff and residents using the free testing supplies provided by CDPHE. We also have a dedicated team of epidemiologists tracking and monitoring disease spread in long-term care facilities. Finally, we are assisting facilities to source PPE when needed.”

Two Broomfield care facilities where outbreaks have been reported saw more deaths reported since last week. Broomfield Skilled Nursing reported 11 deaths, up two from last week. The facility also has 40 residents who have tested positive and two who are probable cases, according to state data. Twenty staff members have tested positive for the virus and six are considered probable cases.

Another Broomfield facility, Sunrise at Flatirons, has reported 12 deaths, up three from last week. The facility has 14 residents who have tested positive and three who are probable cases, according to state data. Twenty of its staff members have also tested positive for the virus and six are considered probable cases.

Since Tuesday, Boulder County deaths have continued to hold steady at a total of 61, according to Boulder County Public Health. As of Thursday, Boulder County had registered 940 positive or probable cases. Of those, 376 people have recovered. There have been 160 people hospitalized and 178 disease investigations are in progress.

At the statewide level, there were 1,421 deaths among coronavirus cases. Of those, 1,168 have been attributed to the coronavirus, according to the CDPHE. The number of Colorado residents who have tested positive or probable is at 25,121. There have been 4,254 people hospitalized. So far, 166,596 of the state’s more than 5.7 million residents have been tested for the coronavirus.

While Goussetis said she has heard from many Boulder County residents who are saddened by the number of deaths in long-term care facilities, she said many are still failing to see how compliance with public health orders is related.

“While most people will not be hospitalized or lose their life due to COVID-19, every close contact a person makes with another person can potentially spread to someone who will need to be hospitalized or will pass away from the disease,” she said. “This is a community issue — we must all act responsibly to save the life of others.”