The state is questioning whether there is a connection between the April 22 testing by the National Guard of a nursing home in Broomfield and an outbreak of COVID-19 at that same facility days later.

CPR reports that the Broomfield Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center did not have any residents or employees showing symptoms before the Guard arrived, but now there have been 49 positive cases and seven deaths. Symptoms began appearing five days later in residents who had tested negative.

“It does require a pause and a look at the processes to be sure,” Eric France, chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, told CPR.

The department cannot prove that the testing from the Guard and the outbreak are related, but CDPHE has since reduced the number of people who go in to test at nursing homes. Of the state’s nearly 1,100 deaths from COVID-19, approximately 61% have occurred in senior care facilities.

Colorado mobilized more than 400 of its National Guard members to conduct testing and otherwise help with emergency response during the pandemic. The state hopes to perform testing as often as twice per week on nursing home staff, and a lab at Colorado State University is under contract to process 45,000 tests from the facilities over two months.

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