COVID cases and hospitalizations down in Colorado
Total number of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations is down in Colorado, but public health officials on Friday warned the state is experiencing “a bit of variability” as these downward trends are not consistent statewide or in all age groups.
New cases have declined statewide, and in recent days the number of people hospitalized in Colorado with the virus has also declined. But Scott Bookman, the state’s COVID-19 incident commander, noted in a press briefing that the number of people hospitalized remains near the peak of the first wave in the spring of 2020.
As of Friday, 917 people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 were hospitalized statewide, down from the fifth wave peak of 1,021 in mid-September. Seventy-eight percent of Colorado’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, state data shows.
“While we are now seeing a fairly steady decrease in our hospitalizations, we are still at an incredibly high rate of hospitalizations compared to where we want to be,” he said. “And so, as we’re at the start of a downward trend here, we really need to see these hospitalizations drastically decrease before we feel comfortable with the hospital capacity we have as we start to move into the hospital. cold season and people are starting to move indoors.
When it comes to virus transmission, most counties in Colorado are seeing a drop in the number of new cases, state epidemiologist Dr Rachel Herlihy said at the briefing. But there are expectations, especially in Moffat, Grand and Mesa counties, she said.
“Some transmission is higher in the eastern plains,” Herlihy said. “The San Luis Valley certainly stands out here, it’s a place where we are currently seeing rising rates where most of the state is seeing falling rates.”
Likewise, while most age groups experience a decline in COVID-19 cases, new infections are increasing in children too young to be vaccinated. Colorado’s highest rates of new infections in recent days were among children aged 6 to 11, Herlihy said. New cases are on the decline in adults and children between 12 and 17 years old, a group that has more recently become eligible to receive the vaccine.
“We’re probably starting to see a clear benefit from vaccination in this age group,” Herlihy said.
Since the start of the pandemic, Colorado has recorded 673,517 cases of COVID-19 and 7,887 deaths from the virus, according to state data.
More than 70% of eligible Coloradans were fully vaccinated by Friday.