State report lists COVID outbreaks in RBC

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RBC | A data set released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment last Wednesday listed a total of four outbreaks in Rio Blanco County, three of which were considered “active” at the time. There have also been voluntary quarantines by businesses and organizations due to positive cases or potential exposures.

By definition, an outbreak consists of at least two positive cases in one location. This does not mean a facility has failed at prevention efforts or other safety measures. Employees who contract the virus outside of work can still trigger an outbreak and result in the closure of a facility or business.

An outbreak in the Rio Blanco County Jail was reported Nov. 19. Two residents and one staff member have tested positive.

An outbreak was also reported Nov. 19 at a Meeker business, with two positive staff cases.

Rio Blanco County’s largest reported outbreak is currently at the Walbridge Wing, reported Nov. 20. Eight residents and six staff members have tested positive. One resident has died as of Nov. 25. Widespread testing was performed on both staff and residents the week of Nov. 15.

According to PMC CEO Liz Sellers, “PMC is currently using the CDC’s optimization strategies for PPE and based on these strategies the hospital has adequate N95 and surgical masks and hand sanitizer. The organization’s fundamental goal is to provide evidence-based patient care. We have an exceptional team of professionals and safety continues to be our top priority.”

The resolved outbreak on the list occurred in August, with three confirmed and one probable case reported at the time.

The state’s outbreak report is updated weekly, but new outbreaks can take time to appear on the state’s website due to ongoing investigations and contact tracing.

County Attorney Todd Starr told the HT the county is preparing to issue a statement next week.

The outbreak report is available at