State reclassifies Casey’s Pond death as probable COVID-19, bringing the total to 6 |

State reclassifies Casey’s Pond death as probable COVID-19, bringing the total to 6

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has reclassified a death at Casey’s Pond to be a result of COVID-19.

That brings Routt County’s COVID-19 death total to six, all of which have occurred at Casey’s Pond.

According to a news release from the Routt County Department of Public Health, the death is being listed by the state as “probable,” which CDHPE defines as: “A death is classified as probable if the decedent was a Colorado resident and the case meets probable case definition and then has an outcome of death OR who had no known positive laboratory test for SARS-CoV (COVID-19) but the death certificate lists “COVID-19” or an equivalent as a cause of death.” 

As of Wednesday, the CDHPE listed a total of 921 COVID-19 related deaths in Colorado. Of those, 143 are classified as probable.

Across the state and country, COVID-19-related death totals are rising in some places as health department officials review death certificates. New evidence is suggesting the virus has been in the United States earlier than initially suspected, causing health departments to go further back to review death certificates, and in some cases, preserved tissue samples.

In Santa Clara County, California, autopsy results revealed deaths due to COVID-19 occurred on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17, well before the first U.S. death was initially reported in the Seattle area Feb. 28.

Last week, the CDHPE reclassified three deaths at a Denver nursing home as COVID-19 related, overruling the reports from the attending physicians.

The first death at Casey’s Pond due to COVID-19 — and first death in Routt County — was reported on April 10. The sixth Casey’s Pond death occurred sometime around early April, according to county officials, but the exact date has not been released at this time.

“As the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) reviews death certificates throughout the State of Colorado, it is possible death rates locally may be impacted,” said Routt County Director of Public Health Kari Ladrow. “This is not a decision made locally but rather at the state level.” 

As of Wednesday, there have been 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Routt County out of 1,262 tests administered. Of those cases, 51 are listed as recovered. At Casey’s Pond, 321 tests have been administered, with 11 residents and 11 staff members testing positive to date. Six results for staff members are pending.

Drive-thru community testing is available by appointment every Wednesday and Saturday at the concession stand at the rodeo grounds through the month of May. Call 970-870-5577 for the required screening.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

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