AURORA | More than 100 employees at a north Aurora manufacturing facility have tested positive for COVID-19, though none of the workers ever displayed any symptoms of the virus, according to information released by the state health department this week.
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment on Wednesday reported that 104 staffers at Steven Roberts Original Desserts, a purveyor of bespoke sweets with a warehouse on Tower Road in the Adams County portion of Aurora, have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. No deaths have been reported.
The outbreak confirmed May 15 ranks as the second-highest flare-up of cases in a non-residential commercial facility in the state, according to CDPHE data. Only the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, where 264 people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus and six people have died, has reported more cases.
Several residential facilities, including the 440 cases at the Sterling Correctional Facility and more than 600 suspected cases at a downtown Denver jail, have reported significantly larger outbreaks.
As originally reported by The Denver Business Journal, the cases at the Aurora facility were detected in late April and early May when the company voluntarily tested all of its 770 employees as a precaution, according to a spokesperson. None of the people who tested positive for the virus ever displayed the well-documented symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.
“All the positive results reported from this testing represented asymptomatic individuals,” the company wrote in a statement.
All the workers who tested positive isolated themselves for two weeks, per federal guidelines, the spokesperson said. All of them have since returned to work.
The company did not detect a pattern tracing the cases to a single location in the facility or a certain group of workers, according to the spokesperson.
Managers at the facility in north Aurora voluntarily elected to temporarily close and thoroughly clean the area. The site has since re-opened.
The 386,000-square-foot warehouse near Interstate 70 and Tower Road produces frozen desserts that are sold to restaurants, hotels and other entertainment venues.
The company has been in Aurora since 2013 when it received incentive money from the city to locate here.
— Sentinel Staff Writer Kara Mason contributed to this report.