El Paso County adujsts 'total probable staff' COVID-19 cases at a Colorado Springs Walmart

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - El Paso County Public Health is now providing more information on COVID-19 outbreaks, including locations.

In the past, the health department was reporting there were 44 "total probable staff" cases at the Walmart off Space Center Drive with four confirmed cases. Walmart says that number and the category are misleading. During the week of May 25, the county website was updated to just three "total probable staff" cases.

The health department sent 11 News the following statement concerning probable cases:
"Any time an outbreak is reported (both COVID and non-COVID), we utilize a tool called a line list. This is a self-assessment which is completed by staff members or residents in conjunction with their management and Public Health, and is utilized to self-report illness consistent to the pathogen that is causing the outbreak. This tool provides a low-threshold assessment which Public Health can use to look at possible trends of illness within the community and the outbreak. There are limitations to this tool, including that fact that this is self-reported illness and has a wide catchment to try to identify how illness is moving through a facility."

Walmart originally provided 11 News with this statement:
"As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the country, the impact to our friends, family and neighbors is being felt in almost all the places we call home – including southern Colorado. It may be impossible to know where or how anyone contracted the virus, which is why – as an essential business – we are taking proactive measures in our stores to help protect our associates and customers as best as we can. While we are not able to provide information about those impacted for privacy reasons, know that we will continue to take the measures necessary to help protect the safety and well-being of our associates. Information related to COVID-19 cases should come from local health officials."

Later, Walmart reached back out to 11 News. Walmart Spokesperson Anne Hatfield stated that 44 cases was not an accurate representation, saying the number reflects a variety of things. Hatfield added the number includes some associates who have taken leave because they are in the high-risk category or someone was told to quarantine by their doctor because they returned from a trip. Of the 44 listed in the outbreak data, Walmart says many of the employees have already returned to work. As of May 28, the data shared by the county for that location was three total probable staff cases.

Click here to see the full list of outbreaks and any updates. As of Friday, there have been 15 known outbreaks at facilities and stores across El Paso County since March 17.

According to the county health department, an outbreak is defined as two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, with evidence of transmission within the facility.

"The purpose of this list is to alert the public of local outbreaks so that anyone who may have been at an outbreak location during the designated timeframe can be aware, and monitor their health for any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough shortness of breath, chills, shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell)," El Paso County Public Health posted on its website.

Outbreak locations including initial report date as of May 22:

3/17/20 Laurel Manor Care Center
920 S. Chelton Road

3/27/20 Winslow Court
3920 E San Miguel St.

4/12/20 Appletree Assisted Living
1165 Brockdell Drive, 80911

4/20/20 Pikes Peak Care Center
2719 N. Union Blvd., 80909

5/5/20 Pikes Peak Hospice
2550 Tenderfoot Hill St.

5/7/20 Aspire Behavioral Health
4760 Flintridge Dr. #200

5/12/20 Schommer Construction
410 South 19th St.

5/14/20 Keystone Achievement
5526 N. Academy Blvd.

5/15/20 McDonald’s
535 Airport Creek Point

5/16/20 Goodwill of Colorado
4158 Austin Bluffs Parkway

5/18/20 Walmart
1575 Space Center Drive

5/18/20 Springs Fabrication
850 Aeroplaza Drive

5/19/20 Cheyenne Mountain Care Center
835 Tenderfoot Hill Road

5/19/20 Safeway
1425 S. Murray Blvd.

5/20/20 Metco Landscape Inc.
3603 E St Vrain St., 80909

RESOURCES FOR COLORADANS DURING OUTBREAK

- For information and resources on COVID-19, El Paso and Teller County residents can call 719-575-8888 seven days a week. Monday through Friday, the line is available from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Weekends, calls will be taken between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

- The state has a toll-free hotline CO HELP for general questions about COVID-19. That hotline can be reached at both 303-389-1687 and 877-462-2911.

- Those needing assistance with financial services, food, clothing and household needs, mental health, and more can call 211.

QUICK LINKS TO CREDIBLE SOURCES:
- Click here for the El Paso County Public Health COVID-19 website

- Click here for the CDPHE COVID-19 website. The website includes a lot of answers to frequently asked questions from across the state.

- Click here for the CDC COVID-10 website.