The number of cases reported do not represent the total number of actual cases. Case counts reflect only residents of northeast Colorado with a positive COVID-19 test or residents who are identified as epidemiologically linked during contact tracing and case investigation. It may be deemed that a person is epidemiologically linked or “probable” if they came in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, was determined to be at high risk during the case investigation and they became symptomatic in the two weeks after contact with the ill person. The number of epidemiologically linked cases represent a very small portion of the reported cases. Although originally assigned to one county, cases may be reassigned to another county if the permanent address is determined to be in that county. This information is subject to change at any time as disease investigations are ongoing.
Data is updated daily and weekly so it may not reflect the number of cases in real-time. Please note that information provided on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) may not match this information due to delays in reporting.
To protect the privacy of individuals, Northeast Colorado Health Department (NCHD) will not publicly share any identifying information about COVID-19 cases. An individual’s privacy is very important. In order to protect the identity of a positive case, we are not reporting the exact town in which positive cases live due to the population size of many communities in northeast Colorado. If the individual lives in a town with a small population, this may be an identifier for the person who has tested positive. NCHD will continue to err on the side of confidentiality when it comes to maintaining the privacy of individuals.
NCHD is notified of residents in Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington or Yuma Counties who test positive for COVID-19. We are not notified of the total number of residents who are tested for the disease, however, this information is available on the CDPHE website.
Discrepancies between state and local data: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) dashboard displays preliminary case and fatality information. This data is reported into Colorado’s Electronic Disease Reporting System (CEDRS) by a variety of agencies that are the original source of collecting the data: private labs, public labs, hospital infection preventionists, state and local public health officials. Information on this website may change as new or different information is discovered through case investigations.
Death data – All deaths in Colorado, from all causes, are reported through Colorado’s vital records system through registration of death certificates. The cause of death on a death certificate is assigned by the medical certifier, either a physician or coroner. The process of registration of death certificates may take a few days depending upon circumstances. For example, if an autopsy is required it normally takes several days to complete an autopsy and register a death certificate. While reports are usually received within a few days of the date of death, this process will not provide same-day data.
Outbreak data is reportable to public health from the following types of facilities:
Residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities
Other settings (factories, workplaces with crowded work conditions, camps, schools and childcare centers)
During an outbreak, facilities are focused on disease control measures and therefore, the number of cases may be incomplete until a final report is submitted by the facility at the end of the outbreak.
Recovery Data - Reporting the number of individuals recovered from COVID-19 presents several challenges. In some cases, public health agencies have used hospital discharges to report ‘recovered’, but in northeast Colorado, the vast majority of cases have not required hospitalization. In addition, hospital discharges could include discharge to home or discharge to another healthcare facility (transfer) out of the region. The Colorado Hospital Association has started reporting discharge data to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), which helps to provide a snapshot of people who have recovered from the most severe illnesses related to COVID-19.
Another challenge is that whenever people become sick from any illness, receive a diagnosis and possibly even a prescription, individuals do not call the doctor’s office to report they are when they are ‘well’ or ‘recovered’. It is assumed that if the person doesn’t return to the doctor or doesn’t die, they recovered. This is true for COVID-19 as well. Though Public Health workers do contact every positive case to give isolation guidance and collect needed information to do contact tracing, public health does not currently have the capacity to check in with positive cases on a regular basis to determine if they are recovered. In order to determine the number of individuals that have recovered every single person who has tested positive for COVID-19 would need to be contacted and asked a series of questions to determine how many days have passed since symptom onset and how long they have been fever-free. Also, many people that have had COVID-19 have not been tested either because they had mild symptoms and didn’t realize they were infected, their provider may not have ordered a test, or a test may not have been readily available. There is no way to track how many people fall into this category, but given the wide range of symptoms and severity, it is estimated that this number is considerable. Public health does not have the capacity to maintain individual contact with each person who may have had COVID-19 across the six-county region.
Typically, an individual is considered allowed to return to work if at least10 days have passed since symptom onset AND they have been fever-free for at least 3 days AND symptoms are improving. If we were to use this standard to determine the number recovered, on April 15, we would assume the number of positive cases on April 1st are now recovered. However, all of these methods for determining the number of individuals recovered would still present a challenge when following up with individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 but were asymptomatic.