Coronavirus

Colorado COVID Stats Improve as New Variant Looms

Outside Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs.
Outside Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. Google Maps
The good news: The latest statistics about COVID-19 from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show modest but marked improvement for the first time in months. The bad news: Spikes related to family gatherings and events during the holiday season are still very possible, and the anticipated arrival of the new Omicron variant is a wild card that could have negative repercussions across the state.

Here are the most recent CDPHE figures in major categories, updated after 4 p.m. on November 29; they're juxtaposed with our previous COVID-19 survey, which tracked information from November 22.

826,815 cases (up 15,002 from November 22)
23,755 variants of concern (up 833 from November 22)
64 counties (unchanged from November 22)
46,752 hospitalized (up 837 from November 22)
9,151 deaths among cases (up 200 from November 22)
9,442 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 244 from November 22)
6,884 outbreaks (up 72 from November 22)

Four takeaways:

• New cases of COVID-19 fell sharply. The 15,002 total for the week ending November 29 dropped from 22,383 on November 22.

• During the same span, hospitalizations tumbled by a smaller but still significant percentage, from 1,052 on November 22 to 837 on November 29.

• Fresh COVID outbreaks are down, as well: 72 over the seven days leading up to November 29, as compared to 125 the week ending November 22.

• Deaths due to COVID-19 hit 244 the week ending November 29, compared to 235 on November 22. But because death stats tend to lag behind those in other categories, the rise may be more reflective of previous weeks than current conditions.

Daily case counts for the ten-day period that ended on November 21 never fell below 1,400 and exceeded 3,000 on four occasions. In contrast, the ten-day span ending November 28 had no days with totals over 3,000, with a low point of just over 1,000 on the last day in that span:

November 28 — 1,060 Cases
November 27 — 1,936 Cases
November 26 — 1,286 Cases
November 25 — 1,201 Cases
November 24 — 2,535 Cases
November 23 — 2,805 Cases
November 22 — 2,378 Cases
November 21 — 1,644 Cases
November 20 — 2,261 Cases
November 19 — 2,830 Cases

The state's positivity rate was up to 10.16 percent on November 29, however, a sizable bump from the 8.92 percent figure on November 22 and more than double the 5 percent level that public-health officials see as an indication of low testing and rapid community spread.

But the number of available ICU beds is rising; 110 were open on November 29, compared to a record low of 81 on November 22. Moreover, the 139 COVID patients admitted to the hospital on November 29 was barely half of the 272 booked on November 17 — and the 1,520 COVID patients hospitalized across Colorado on November 29 was 132 fewer than the 1,652 counted on November 22. Here are the details:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

November 29, 2021
139 patients admitted to the hospital
139 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 28, 2021
39 patients admitted to the hospital
152 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 27, 2021
74 patients admitted to the hospital
155 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 26, 2021
164 patients admitted to the hospital
161 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 25, 2021
186 patients admitted to the hospital
163 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 24, 2021
203 patients admitted to the hospital
166 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 23, 2021
167 patients admitted to the hospital
178 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 22, 2021
230 patients admitted to the hospital
193 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 21, 2021
62 patients admitted to the hospital
183 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 20, 2021
115 patients admitted to the hospital
185 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

November 29, 2021
1,520 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,473 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
47 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 28, 2021
1,569 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,507 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
62 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 27, 2021
1,563 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,500 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
63 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 26, 2021
1,557 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,504 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
53 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 25, 2021
1,587 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,527 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
60 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 24, 2021
1,618 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,556 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
62 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 23, 2021
1,630 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,576 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
54 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 22, 2021
1,652 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,565 (95 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
87 (5 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 21, 2021
1,592 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,519 (95 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
73 (5 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 20, 2021
1,586 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,514 (95 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
72 (5 percent) Persons Under Investigation

The stats on the CDPHE's vaccine data dashboard aren't as cheering. Coloradans immunized with at least one dose rose by 35,926 for the week of November 21, but the bump for the seven days through November 14 was 60,134. Meanwhile, the gain in those fully immunized held relatively steady at just over 17,000, and Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccinations on November 28 were all down from the previous week:

3,641,889 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 17,919 from November 21)
4,066,619 people immunized with at least one dose (up 35,926 from November 21)
1,712 people vaccinated on November 28 with Pfizer vaccine (down 1,019 from November 21); 3,400 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported November 28 but administered on an earlier date (down 1,571 from November 21)
1,323 people immunized on November 28 with Moderna vaccine (down 728 from November 21); 3,381 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported November 28 but administered on an earlier date (down 1,500 from November 21)
86 people vaccinated on November 28 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (down 20 from November 21); 122 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported November 28 but administered on an earlier date (down 9 from November 21)

Despite the vax numbers, other COVID stats are finally moving in the right direction. But the territory ahead is uncertain.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts