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COVID-19 death, outbreak reported at Beehive Homes assisted living facility in Cortez

The BeeHive at the Cortez Homestead provides resident care for seniors.
Facility previously had an outbreak in December

A COVID-19 death and outbreak were reported at Beehive Homes at the Cortez Homestead Aug. 30, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

According to the state data, the most recent outbreak came in June, when four cases were reported at Dolores High School.

The data reported that five residents and four staff had positive cases of COVID-19 at Beehive Homes. Carla Allmon, a registered nurse and house manager at the assisted living facility, said two residents and three staff had the coronavirus.

The state resolved the outbreak Thursday, and no resident remains infected with the virus, she said.

All residents are vaccinated and take polymerase chain reaction tests once a month, Allmon said.

Rapid tests are administered if a patient displays COVID-19 symptoms.

Allmon said the death was hard on the facility, which serves Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

“They’ve become a part of our family,” she said.

The resolution of the outbreak has left her feeling optimistic, though.

“We’re doing really great now,” she said. “We were lucky this time.”

Besides following CDPHE guidelines, staff disinfect surfaces three times a shift, take their temperatures twice a shift and wear masks, she said.

CDPHE has recorded 43 total outbreaks in Montezuma County since the onset of the pandemic.

A December outbreak at the facility saw 10 residents and 11 staff contract the virus. Two residents died.

Fifty-four new cases have been reported in Montezuma County since Sept. 1, according to CDPHE data. Since the pandemic reached the county in 2020, 2,445 cases of COVID-19 have been reported. Twelve people have died because of COVID-19.

CDPHE updated its definition of an “outbreak” for most settings June 1, although in residential health care facilities and correctional facilities, two or more cases in a 14-day period is still the determining criteria.

In other locations – schools, workplaces, events, dorms, etc. – an outbreak occurs when there are five or more confirmed or probable cases, with at least one case having a positive molecular amplification test or antigen test, according to the updated definition.