by Marissa Lorenz
On November 10, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Kremmling’s Cliffview COVID-19 outbreak to be resolved, according to Grand County Public Health Director Brene Belew-LaDue.
The outbreak was declared on September 26, when a first batch of resident tests came back positive. By the end, 21 of 24 residents
(23 were on-site at the time of the outbreak) and 10 of 18 staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Three individuals were hospitalized, all of whom have since been released from hospitalized care. Other specialized care, in the form of additional oxygen and physician supervision, was provided on-site by Middle Park Health (MPH), the managing entity of Cliffview. Incidentally, many residents were asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms, and two residents living full-time at the facility never contracted COVID-19.
At the October 29 Kremmling Memorial Hospital District Board meeting, Deb Plemmons, Chief Nursing Officer, indicated that Middle Park Health had received notification that October 25 marked the end of the second 7-day cycle in which all tests came back negative, allowing Public Health to declare the outbreak over.
Plemmons indicated that the source of the original infection was not known. “We had limited visitors coming in,” she explained, “but people go out all the time.”
Intermittent testing will continue, and Cliffview’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be done via take-out this year, as visitors are still restricted.
West Grand leadership shares emotional response after moving to distance learning
West Grand High School moved to remote learning on Thursday, November 5, the day before the scheduled Homecoming football game, when a student and a staff member were presumed positive for COVID-19, prompting the quarantine of a large number of students and student athletes.
“Presumed positive” is normally declared when an individual is symptomatic and has other individuals in their household or workplace who have tested positive.
West Grand K-8 school was transitioned to remote learning on Tuesday, November 10, after a staff member who “spent significant time with nearly all the staffulty of the building” tested positive.
At the November 10 Board meeting, HS Principal Liz Bauer cried and K8 Principal Jack Daly’s voice broke when describing the vitriolic response from many in the community.
“In-person connection– having students in our building is the most important thing,” Bauer’s voice cracked. “I do not wish this on anyone. I also know the turmoil that I see in my teachers and the frustration of students when activities are pulled out from underneath them. … But I also know how we’ve been treated and it’s not okay.”
“The best thing for kids is to be in-person and to be in front of teachers,” echoed Daly. “I don’t know if the community understands how much we fight for that. They give us the feeling–the loud ones–that it doesn’t matter.
But we’re going to fight to be in front of our kids. And [those people] are breaking people. We have people on the edge. If we want to have a school next year, we can’t break all the people we have here this year.”
Students are scheduled to return to in-person learning on November 30, following the scheduled Thanksgiving break.