State redefines what qualifies as an outbreak |

State redefines what qualifies as an outbreak

On Tuesday, June 1, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment changed its definition for what qualifies as a COVID-19 outbreak.

According to a news release, an outbreak is now 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, in a facility or (non-household) group with onset in a 14-day period.”

The department said it was not changing the definition for an outbreak at a residential health care facility or correctional facility “as outbreaks in these settings may have more severe outcomes.”

So why the change? Because of the changing landscape around COVID-19.

“We’re starting to see population-level protection from vaccines, and that lessens the risk of disease transmission across the state,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist with the department, said in the release. “Coupled with an improved testing landscape, especially in settings like schools and summer camps where we typically see a large number of outbreaks, this change allows us to efficiently focus our resources on the outbreak scenarios most likely to impact public health.”

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