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Colorado COVID-19 Variant Cases Now Top 100

Governor Jared Polis during the April 2020 press conference when he first encouraged residents to wear masks.
Governor Jared Polis during the April 2020 press conference when he first encouraged residents to wear masks.
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Most of the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment continues to trend in the right direction. But there are two exceptions: deaths from the novel coronavirus, up modestly over the past week, and confirmed variant cases, which have now topped 100.

"A variant may spread easier, cause more severe disease, reduce the effectiveness of treatments or vaccine, or is harder to detect using current tests," the CDPHE notes.

Here are the most recent statistics, updated at 4:30 p.m. February 21; we've juxtaposed them with numbers from February 14, highlighted in our last roundup about the novel coronavirus.

420,614 cases (up 6,778 from February 14)
86 variants of concern (up 19 from February 14)
41 variants under investigation (up 18 from February 14)
23,169 hospitalized (up 372 from February 14)
64 counties (unchanged since February 14)
5,892 deaths among cases (up 68 from February 14)
5,719 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 138 from February 14)
3,806 outbreaks (up 71 from February 14)

Four major takeaways:

• The pace of newly registered COVID-19 cases has declined steadily in recent weeks, and that trend has continued. The February 21 addition of 6,778 cases is a decided improvement over the 8,547 added on February 14.
• Hospitalization numbers also continue to improve, tumbling from 491 for the week ending February 14 to 372 on February 21.
• Outbreaks are down, too, from 108 new reports on February 14 to 71 on February 21.
• In contrast, deaths attributed to COVID-19 (as opposed to those where the virus can't be definitively identified as the cause) rose by 138 on February 21, a jump from the 127 reported on February 14.

And then there are the variants. Those considered "of concern" went from 67 on February 14 to a total of 86 on February 21, with those "under investigation" (they have "different characteristics of the original virus, but [are] not yet considered a variant of concern," the CDPHE explains) increased from 23 to 41. That's a total of 127 variants spotted to date since the country's first example of the mutant strain identified in the U.K. was found in Elbert County in December, but there could well be more, since health officials concede the numbers are "based on a small sampling of positive COVID-19 tests and do not represent the total number of variant cases that may be circulating in Colorado."

While new daily cases of the disease reported to the state continue to jump up and down, there have been no major spikes. Here are aggregates for the past ten-day period:

February 20 — 759 Cases
February 19 — 937 Cases
February 18 — 1,129 Cases
February 17 — 1,155 Cases
February 16 — 1,008 Cases
February 15 — 561 Cases
February 14 — 562 Cases
February 13 — 777 Cases
February 12 — 1,086 Cases
February 11 — 1,345 Cases

The positivity rate, shorthanded by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins as "the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, or: (positive tests)/(total tests) x 100 percent," is also fairly stable. The 3.47 percent on February 21 is just below the 3.57 percent registered a week earlier and is well below the 5 percent threshold frequently noted by the CDPHE. And the previous week's outpatient syndromic COVID-19 visits are also down, from 4.05 percent on February 14 to 3.81 percent on February 21.

Current hospitalization data is showing marginal improvement, too, with totals under 500 for each of the past ten days. Likewise, new admissions stayed under triple digits during the same span.

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

February 21, 2021
440 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
399 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
41 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 20, 2021
437 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
389 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
48 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 19, 2021
451 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
404 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
47 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 18, 2021
462 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
425 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
37 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 17, 2021
482 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
440 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
42 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 16, 2021
441 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
406 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
35 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 15, 2021
462 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
411 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
51 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 14, 2021
485 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
428 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
57 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 13, 2021
481 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
432 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
49 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

February 12, 2021
470 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
430 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
40 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

February 21, 2021
56 patients admitted to the hospital
53 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 20, 2021
53 patients admitted to the hospital
50 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 19, 2021
19 patients admitted to the hospital
55 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 18, 2021
77 patients admitted to the hospital
57 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 17, 2021
92 patients admitted to the hospital
55 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 16, 2021
44 patients admitted to the hospital
56 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 15, 2021
27 patients admitted to the hospital
62 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 14, 2021
36 patients admitted to the hospital
71 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 13, 2021
90 patients admitted to the hospital
68 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

February 12, 2021
34 patients admitted to the hospital
65 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

While most numbers are down, the increase in variant cases still represents a significant concern when it comes to COVID-19 in Colorado.

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