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Colorado nursing home, senior care center coronavirus deaths hit 431, make up 56% of state’s fatalities

More than 100 new deaths among nursing home and senior care center residents have been tallied since last week

The Centennial Healthcare Center in Greeley, where at least 17 residents' deaths have been tied to the new coronavirus. (Joe St. George, Fox31)
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The deaths of 431 residents of nursing homes and senior care centers have been attributed to the new coronavirus, representing 56% of the 766 fatalities from the disease logged through Wednesday in Colorado.

That’s an increase of more than 100 deaths among that group since totals were last announced a week ago. 

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Total confirmed and probable infections among nursing home and senior care center residents have reached 1,676, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

There have been more than 1,400 confirmed or probable cases of the disease among people who work at those facilities. At least one employee has died from coronavirus.

Among the major outbreaks are 10 deaths of residents of Winslow Court, an assisted-living center in Colorado Springs, and eight deaths at The Bridge in Longmont. The state also reported 10 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 deaths of residents of MorningStar at Mountain Shadows in Colorado Springs; 12 at Holly Heights in Denver; 12 at Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center in Brush; and 14 at Fairacres Manor in Greeley. 

The center with the highest number of confirmed and suspected deaths is Cherry Creek Nursing Center in Aurora, where 25 deaths have been linked to COVID-19. 

The state has been trying to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, at facilities that care for older Coloradans. Recently, the Colorado National Guard has been testing asymptomatic staff members to try to preemptively prevent an outbreak.

CHART: See at which senior care centers coronavirus infections and deaths are happening 

That testing, Gov. Jared Polis said, has revealed positive cases and prevented deaths. Of the 1,171 tests done at four facilities, there have been 99 positive tests. Of those, 33 cases were staff members who had no symptoms of the illness.

Polis announced that by Friday Colorado will be sending nursing homes more than 85,000 masks, 388,000 gloves, 7,800 gowns and 10,400 pairs of eye protection.

There have been visitor restrictions at all senior care centers in the state since March 12, a stipulation in one of the governor’s first executive orders related to the coronavirus outbreak. Communal dining or other group activities were eliminated shortly thereafter. Centers are delivering meals to residents’ rooms or apartments.

The state is requiring that all nursing homes and senior care centers screen everyone who enters their facilities. Employees and residents are ordered to wear a mask whenever they are in the facilities,  but also when out in public. 

The Cherry Creek Nursing Center in southeast Aurora where an outbreak of the new coronavirus has sickened and killed residents. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

The list of coronavirus outbreaks in Colorado, which is released each Wednesday by the state health department, also includes correctional facilities and businesses.

Among them is a new outbreak at Rocky Mountain Bakehouse in Aurora, which produces baked goods for Whole Foods Markets. The bakery has five employees with confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, according to the state.

Other outbreaks reported within the past week include a few cases each at City Market in Summit County, Advanced Healthcare of Aurora, Aurora Evergreen Assisted Living Facility and Broomfield Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which is one of the three large care centers where the Colorado National Guard has been testing residents and staff.

MORE: “How did that happen so fast?”: She watched from afar as coronavirus killed her dad in a Colorado nursing home

The Sterling Correctional Facility has 243 cases among inmates and 11 among staff, according to the state’s list.

At least 245 workers at JBS beef plant in Greeley have tested positive for the virus. Five of them have died.

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