COVID-19 Outbreaks

Outbreaks in Denver

Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) is collaborating with local businesses, organizations and community partners to investigate and control COVID-19 outbreaks. Outbreaks are clusters of COVID-19 cases that appear related to a single workplace, business, school, facility or event. Learning from and controlling outbreaks helps us slow the spread of COVID-19. 

This dashboard reflects information about outbreaks and the number of cases involved in COVID-19 outbreaks in Denver since the start of the pandemic. This information is updated weekly on Wednesday afternoon and mirrors information available in Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s (CDPHE) public COVID-19 outbreak data page. Numbers may differ slightly from CDPHE based on when the dashboard is updated. 

Case and Outbreak Definitions


Outbreak Frequently Asked Questions

When would COVID-19 cases be classified as an outbreak?

In most settings, a confirmed outbreak is defined as five or more confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, of which at least one case has had a positive molecular amplification test or antigen test performed by a CLIA-certified provider, in a facility or (non-household) group with onset in a 14 day period.

In special settings, such as residential care facilities or correctional institutions, a confirmed outbreak is defined as:

  • Two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases in residents/inmates/detainees/etc. with onset in a 14-day period or, 
  • One confirmed and two or more probable COVID-19 cases in residents/inmates/detainees/etc. with onset in a 14-day period. 
When is a COVID-19 outbreak considered over?

In most settings, a COVID-19 outbreak is considered resolved when 28 days have passed since the symptom onset date (or test collection date, if asymptomatic) of the last newly identified COVID-19 case. 

For information on public health orders currently in effect in Denver and Colorado, please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Public Health and Executive Orders page or the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment’s Public Orders page.

  

COVID-19 Outbreak Resources and Guidance for Facilities and Businesses

Report a suspected outbreak of COVID-19 in a Denver workplace or organization

Once an outbreak is reported, a DDPHE representative will be in contact to review next steps. DDPHE is unable to respond to incomplete reports, so please complete the information in the survey as completely and accurately as possible. Long-term care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc.) should send an email directly to DDPHEOutbreak@denvergov.org to report any cases or outbreaks. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Workplace Guidance for in-depth information and resources related to managing a COVID-19 outbreak.

Please note an outbreak determination does not necessarily mean all cases acquired their illness in that specific workplace/facility. It is possible that a case may have been exposed elsewhere (we can rarely prove where any individual was exposed with a person-to-person pathogen). But when a case worked/spent time in a workplace/facility with a known outbreak, we attribute their illness to that outbreak even if there is no definitive proof that the case acquired the illness there. This conservative approach is consistent across all outbreak types.  

Report a COVID-19 Outbreak

After a Suspected Outbreak is Reported

Once a confirmed or suspected outbreak is reported, a representative from DDPHE will be assigned as the main point of contact to provide resources and collect information. If the facility/workplace is located in another county, DDPHE will forward the information provided to that county for follow-up.  

While you are waiting for public health follow-up, please see the recommended steps below: 

  1. Using the appropriate line list template, please begin recording information about your staff, guests or residents who have developed COVID-19-like symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. Ensure any staff, guests or residents who are currently ill or tested positive for COVID-19 are isolating according to public health isolation guidelines.
  3. Ensure any staff, guests or residents who were in close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case are quarantining according to public health quarantine guidelines.
  4. Reference CDC’s Workplace Guidance for initial recommendations regarding cleaning and disinfection, testing and maintaining a healthy work environment.
  5. If you have employees who need to take time off work due to COVID-19 illness or exposure, please reference the Families First Coronavirus Response Act page for information for your business about the law regarding this time off.
  6. If you have questions or need assistance with COVID-19 testing, please visit CDPHE’s testing page for more information.
  7. If you have questions or need assistance with COVID-19 vaccination, please visit DDPHE’s vaccination page for more information.
  8. For general questions about COVID-19, you can call CO HELP at 1-877-462-2911 or 303-389-1687.