2022 Topical Reporting: Pandemic Coverage, Single Story finalist

How Colorado Caught COVID: The Third Wave

About the Project

As the third wave of COVID-19 infections descended on Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis declared the state ready, and said “world class” testing and contact tracing systems would protect the vulnerable. That turned out to be wrong, as, unbeknownst to the public, those systems collapsed and Colorado had the highest rate of death in the nation for nursing home patients in the fall of 2020.

Colorado Public Radio has been reporting in detail on the state’s response to the pandemic from the start. This story grew from that work.