Breckenridge City Market coronavirus outbreak grows to 17 employees

People wait in line to shop at City Market in Breckenridge on Thursday, May 7. In addition to limiting the number of people in the store, patrons are now required to wear facial coverings while shopping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Liz Copan /

BRECKENRIDGE — A total of 17 employees at the City Market store in Breckenridge have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a county news release sent Thursday afternoon.

The county first reported an outbreak of eight positive cases among employees of the grocery store April 29. Another three cases were confirmed shortly thereafter.

Since then, 80 employees who were not experiencing symptoms have been tested for the virus through the county’s mobile testing unit. Five of those employees tested positive.

On Thursday Summit County Public Health was notified that a quarantined individual developed symptoms. The individual is being counted as a probable positive case.

The store will stay open, Summit County Communications Director Julie Sutor said.

“They have been extremely proactive in identifying any additional measures and working with us to implement any preventive measures,” she said.

Since the first confirmed case April 22, City Market and county public health officials have worked together to identify all positive cases, isolate them and quarantine their close contacts. The county identified 19 close contacts of the employees, all of whom have been quarantined.

County officials also reviewed the store’s physical-distancing protocols, which resulted in the closing of the store’s break room, the only location where employees couldn’t maintain a 6-foot distance, according to the news release.

The store has been thoroughly cleaned and continues to be cleaned, according to the release. Store officials also have implemented one-way traffic flows in aisles, 6-foot marks for the lines at check-out and plexiglass barriers to separate cashiers and customers. The county’s safer-at-home public health order requires that customers and employees at all businesses wear facial coverings and maintain a 6-foot distance to slow the spread of the virus.

The store will have an employee at the front door to ensure that people are wearing masks before they enter. The county has received some reports of tensions arising over facial coverings at stores but maintains that they are crucial to slowing the spread of the virus.

“People should assume that anytime when they’re moving throughout the community in public spaces that they could be encountering individuals who are asymptomatic but contagious,” Sutor said. “For that reason, all of that safer-at-home guidance is really important.”

County officials aren’t aware of any positive cases among customers of the store, according to the news release.

While clusters of positive cases aren’t common, the county is prepared for them, Sutor said. However, it’s critical that people continue to practice physical distancing, she said.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of the virus can be tested. Centura Health’s Centers for Occupational Medicine in Frisco offers daily testing. Call 970-668-5584 to receive a testing order. Vail Health also is testing through its mobile clinic. Email to schedule an appointment.

City Market representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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