Coronavirus

Colorado's Decrease in COVID Cases Is History

Right now, not enough Coloradans are following the lead of Governor Jared Polis, seen in a 2020 photo, and getting tested for COVID-19.
Right now, not enough Coloradans are following the lead of Governor Jared Polis, seen in a 2020 photo, and getting tested for COVID-19. colorado.gov
Last week, data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that Colorado was the only state in the union to register a decrease in cases of COVID-19. But that distinction is now history. The latest statistics from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reveal a significant rise in daily case counts, with one day hitting a level last seen weeks before Governor Jared Polis lifted the state's emergency public-health order.

Here are the latest numbers, updated by the CDPHE after 4 p.m. yesterday, July 26. We've compared them to figures from our most recent COVID-19 roundup, which tracked information from July 16. (The ten-day gap is a result of the health department's decision to announce the newest stats Monday through Friday and skip the weekends.)

571,087 cases (up 5,793 cases from July 16)
17,173 variants of concern (up 1,058 from July 16)
2,567 variants under investigation (up 36 from July 16)
32,587 hospitalized (up 260 from July 16)
64 counties (unchanged from July 16)
6,924 deaths among cases (up 48 from July 16)
7,172 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 65 from July 16)
5,572 outbreaks (up 28 from July 16)

Four major takeaways:


• The COVID-19 case count climbed by 2,531 over the five-day period between July 11 and July 16. The 5,793 bump over the ten days that followed more than doubled over that.

• Variants of concern, including the more transmissible and dangerous Delta variant, which accounted for 89.89 percent of infections during the week ending July 4 (the most recent for which info is available), jumped by more than a multiple of two as well: 435 from July 11-16, 1,058 from July 17-26.

• Variants under investigation have nearly tripled, going from 13 over July 11-16 to 36 over July 17-26.

• Deaths among COVID-19 cases are also more than two times higher: 23 from July 11-16, 48 from July 17-26.

And the bad news keeps coming: The positivity rate as of July 26 flared to 7.76 percent, well above the 5 percent level that health officials see as an indication that not enough people are being tested for COVID-19, thereby making inadvertent spread more likely. And while the seven-day average positivity rate is at 4.50 percent, just below that threshold, that stat represents a sizable hike from a month ago.

Daily COVID-19 case counts ranged from a low of 393 to 711 between July 16 and July 25; daily counts between July 6 and July 15 ranged from 257 to 503. Jere's the countdown:

July 25 — 393 Cases
July 24 — 496 Cases
July 23 — 653 Cases
July 22 — 647 Cases
July 21 — 711 Cases
July 20 — 591 Cases
July 19 — 497 Cases
July 18 — 421 Cases
July 17 — 401 Cases
July 16 — 547 Cases

Daily hospital admissions still registered in the thirties over the past ten days, and the overall number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 remains just above 300, as has been the case in recent weeks. Here are the latest stats:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

July 26, 2021
43 patients admitted to the hospital
37 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 25, 2021
8 patients admitted to the hospital
35 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 24, 2021
30 patients admitted to the hospital
36 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 23, 2021
37 patients admitted to the hospital
36 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 22, 2021
43 patients admitted to the hospital
36 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 21, 2021
32 patients admitted to the hospital
34 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 20, 2021
63 patients admitted to the hospital
36 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 19, 2021
35 patients admitted to the hospital
35 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 18, 2021
9 patients admitted to the hospital
34 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

July 17, 2021
30 patients admitted to the hospital
35 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

July 26, 2021
335 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
291 (87 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
44 (13 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 25, 2021
329 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
281 (85 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
48 (15 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 24, 2021
345 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
279 (81 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
66 (19 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 23, 2021
324 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
275 (85 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
49 (15 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 22, 2021
317 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
266 (84 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
51 (16 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 21, 2021
339 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
277 (82 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
62 (18 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 20, 2021
355 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
298 (84 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
57 (16 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 19, 2021
318 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
273 (86 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
45 (14 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 18, 2021
308 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
261 (85 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
47 (15 percent) Persons Under Investigation

July 17, 2021
313 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
268 (86 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
45 (14 percent) Persons Under Investigation

One thing that's not surging is Colorado's inoculation rate. According to the CDPHE's vaccine data dashboard, the number of people fully immunized over the previous ten-day period (31,022) was actually lower than the total for the five days before that (31,739). Meanwhile, daily vaccination figures for both Pfizer and Moderna were lower on July 26 than on July 17, and only seventeen more Janssen/Johnson & Johnson shots were dispensed. Details here.

3,067,292 people fully immunized (up 31,022 from July 17)
3,336,338 people immunized with one dose (up 34,080 from July 17)
1,022 people vaccinated on July 26 with Pfizer vaccine (down 1,1127 from July 17); 2,896 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported July 26 but administered on an earlier date (down 259 from July 17)
390 people immunized on July 26 with Moderna vaccine (down 251 from July 17); 951 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported July 17 but administered on an earlier date (down 85 from July 17)
70 people vaccinated on July 10 with Janssen vaccine (up 17 from July 17); 140 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported July 10 but administered on an earlier date (up 4 from July 17)

During a July 21 press conference, Governor Polis downplayed the leap in case numbers. We should know in the coming weeks if that stance was well founded or ill advised.
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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