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The nursing home at the Good Samaritan Society in Simla in Elbert County is where the National Guardsman that caught the more contagious strain of the COVID virus was working. It is still unclear as to if this was where he caught it. Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Simla is a very small, quiet rural town that is about an hour east of Colorado Springs on Hwy. 24. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

CVS has vaccinated more than 5,300 Colorado nursing home residents and staff as of Thursday as outbreaks in those facilities grew again this week.

CVS and Walgreens are jointly distributing vaccines to the nation's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, a process that began in Colorado on Dec. 28. CVS has inoculated 5,331 people working or living in nursing homes, plus another 1,081 residents and staff of assisted-living centers. The latter effort began earlier this week.

The pharmacy giant has completed 78 clinics and will launch another 104 over the next week, according to data the company publishes each day. CVS is set to deliver vaccines to 119 of the state's nursing homes and 263 of its assisted-living facilities. The company is nearing the halfway point for nursing homes but has finished clinics in fewer than 10% of the state's assisted-living facilities.

It's unclear how many vaccines Walgreens has distributed; a spokesperson for the company declined to provide an accounting. But state officials said Tuesday that the pharmacy had distributed at least 2,206 doses. 

At a press conference earlier this week, Gov. Jared Polis said that Walgreens is anticipating finishing its first doses by the end of next week; CVS is projected to be finished by the end of January, he said. 

Outbreaks have long battered Colorado's long-term care facilities, which have proven to be breeding grounds for serious COVID infection and death. In new outbreak data released Wednesday by the state Department of Public Health and Environment, there are now 141 active outbreaks in the state's skilling nursing facilities. That's up from 138 last week.

The good news is that there was a decline in outbreaks in assisted-living facilities for the first time in months. As of Dec. 30, there were 150 outbreaks in those facilities; there are now 147 outbreaks.

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