The first case in the outbreak was identified June 19, according to San Juan Basin Public Health. Since then, 11 others have been detected, with five confirmed by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment full-genome sequencing as cases of the delta variant.
Two of the outbreak’s cases were also confirmed Aug. 9 as "breakthrough" cases, which are COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated individuals, so called because they’ve broken through the protective barrier provided by inoculation.
> Watch video above: A deeper look at breakthrough COVID cases
Since the outbreak began, four individuals have died after contracting COVID-19. However, the local health department said only three qualify as outbreak fatalities, per state health department criteria.
“The recent COVID-19 fatalities are a tragic loss for our community and a reminder that the pandemic is not over,” San Juan Basin Public Health Executive Director Liane Jollon said. “We are heartbroken to report the recent COVID-19-related deaths.”
San Juan Basin Public Health, which manages La Plata and Archuleta counties’ public health needs, said their investigations into the outbreak, as well as into another that took place before the one at the dealership, “suggested that the lack of public health precautions within the workplace, especially regarding unvaccinated staff, contributed to the elevated number of cases.”
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Coronavirus