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Colorado’s senior homes and COVID-19
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By Joseph Rios

As of April 26, 678 Coloradans have died from COVID-19 -and over 40 percent of those deaths are related to nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Older residents have a higher chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19, making nursing homes and long-term care facilities vulnerable to virus outbreaks.

By May 1st all Colorado nursing facilities, assisted living residences and intermediate care facilities will be required to submit a COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state are required to conduct at-the-door symptom checks for all employees, vendors and visitors before allowing entrance into a facility. Visitors are severely restricted to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have shown symptoms are required to be isolated. Employees and residents at nursing homes and long-term care facilities are required to wear a mask or face-covering when in public. Nursing home and long-term care facility employees are required to wear a mask at all time when they are working.

There have been over 200 people who have died after testing positive for the virus while they were living at a nursing home or long-term care facility.

At the Centennial Health Care Center in Greeley, at least 17 residents of the facility have died from the virus while at least 32 others tested positive. Dozens of employees at the center also tested positive for COVID-19.

In Aurora, two nursing facilities have had severe outbreaks. The Cherry Creek Nursing Center in Aurora has lost at least 18 residents from the virus and 46 others have tested positive for it. Also, 30 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

Juniper Village in Aurora has also been hit hard by the virus. At least 7 residents at the facility have died, and 35 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. At least 31 staff members have the virus.

Over the weekend, the Colorado National Guard assisted the State Emergency Operations Center and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in conducting 900 COVID-19 tests to residents and staff members at long-term care facilities. Of those tests, at least 20 people tested positive for the virus in Broomfield, Thornton and Colorado Springs.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced new symptoms related to COVID-19 saying some people who have the virus may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, a runny nose, a sore throat and may have diarrhea. Common symptoms for the virus include having a fever, tiredness and a dry cough.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that it usually takes five to six days for someone who has the virus to start exhibiting symptoms.





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