Coronavirus

Colorado COVID Data Worse Than We Ever Expected to See Again

Governor Jared Polis and children who took part in the Pfizer vaccine trial during a November 8 media event on the steps of the State Capitol.
Governor Jared Polis and children who took part in the Pfizer vaccine trial during a November 8 media event on the steps of the State Capitol. colorado.gov
In late 2020, the predominant perception about spiking COVID-19 data in Colorado was that widespread distribution of vaccines would cause rapid improvement during the early months of 2021, with a return to normalcy by the second half of the year. But the latest numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show that this pleasant dream hasn't come true.

Recent statistics related to cases, hospitalizations and the availability of intensive-care beds in the state continue to deteriorate. They're easily the worst to date for 2021, and on a disturbing trajectory that explains why Governor Jared Polis pitched so hard during a November 8 event at the State Capitol for newly eligible children between five and eleven to be immunized as soon as possible.

Here are the most recent CDPHE figures in major categories, updated after 4 p.m. on November 8; they're juxtaposed with our previous COVID-19 survey, which tracked information from November 1.

768,646 cases (up 20,791 from November 1)
22,242 variants of concern (up 1,212 from November 1)
64 counties (unchanged since November 1)
43,687 hospitalized (up 1,152 from November 1)
8,499 deaths among cases (up 241 from November 1)
8,719 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 165 from November 1)
6,566 outbreaks (up 89 from November 1)

Four takeaways:

• New cases continue to ratchet up, going from 20,221 for the week ending November 1 to 20,791 over the seven days ending November 8.

• Ditto for hospitalizations, with the November 8 increase of 1,152 representing a significant jump over the 959 registered on November 1.

• Fresh COVID outbreaks are pretty much maintaining their weekly pace — 91 on November 1, compared to 89 on November 8.

• Fatalities are continuing at a heartbreaking clip. Newly reported deaths among cases — infected patients whose passings haven't been directly attributed to the disease — jumped from 172 on November 1 to 241 on November 8. But deaths due to COVID-19 fell to 165 on November 8, down from 191 the prior week.

Over the most recent ten-day period, the daily count of new cases fell below 2,000 only twice, and exceeded 3,000 three times. The 3,825 cases recorded on November 3 was the highest number on a single day since the 4,030 counted on December 11, 2020. See the rundown below.

November 7 — 1,718 Cases
November 6 — 2,330 Cases
November 5 — 3,043 Cases
November 4 — 3,398 Cases
November 3 — 3,825 Cases
November 2 — 2,988 Cases
November 1 — 2,252 Cases
October 31 — 1,679 Cases
October 30 — 2,570 Cases
October 29 — 2,728 Cases

The state's positivity rate is going the wrong direction, too: The 11.60 percent on November 8 exceeded the 10.76 percent on November 1, and is more than double the 5 percent level that public-health officials see as a warning sign that not enough testing is being done.

The 283 new hospital admissions for COVID-19 on November 8 were the most since 285 on December 11, 2020. And the 1,484 people hospitalized for COVID statewide on November 8 was the highest number since the 1,509 on December 17, 2020. No wonder ICU beds are in such short supply: On November 6, statewide availability fell to 84 beds — a pandemic worst. By November 8, available beds had risen to 113 — a slight improvement, but still a dire situation.

Here are new hospital admission and hospitalized patient totals over the previous ten days.

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

November 8, 2021
283 patients admitted to the hospital
178 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 7, 2021
45 patients admitted to the hospital
169 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 6, 2021
133 patients admitted to the hospital
171 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 5, 2021
223 patients admitted to the hospital
159 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 4, 2021
187 patients admitted to the hospital
158 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 3, 2021
212 patients admitted to the hospital
154 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 2, 2021
160 patients admitted to the hospital
154 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

November 1, 2021
223 patients admitted to the hospital
155 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 31, 2021
60 patients admitted to the hospital
151 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 30, 2021
48 patients admitted to the hospital
154 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

November 8, 2021
1,484 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,394 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 7, 2021
1,385 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,296 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
89 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 6, 2021
1,393 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,303 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 5, 2021
1,383 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,296 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
87 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 4, 2021
1,373 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,267 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
106 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 3, 2021
1,358 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,280 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
78 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 2, 2021
1,345 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,254 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
91 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 1, 2021
1,326 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,236 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 31, 2021
1,281 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,197 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
84 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 30, 2021
1,278 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,188 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

Info from the CDPHE's vaccine data dashboard suggests that many parents are taking Polis's advice about getting shots for their kids. The number of Coloradans inoculated with at least one dose of vaccine increased by 32,864 in the week ending November 7, as compared to 24,239 for the week ending October 31. But a lot of the other figures are down, including the total for new people fully immunized — a 19,981-person bump on October 31, but just 13,833 on November 7. More details below:

3,583,793 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 13,833 from October 31)
3,914,014 people immunized with at least one dose (up 32,864 from October 31)
1,684 people vaccinated on November 7 with Pfizer vaccine (down 82 from October 31); 4,933 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported November 7 but administered on an earlier date (down 2,578 from October 31)
1,320 people immunized on November 7 with Moderna vaccine (down 709 from October 31); 7,030 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported November 7 but administered on an earlier date (down 4,090 from October 31)
64 people vaccinated on November 7 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (down 70 from October 31); 294 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported October 31 but administered on an earlier date (up 50 from October 31)

That sense of normalcy we'd anticipated a year ago still seems a long way off.
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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

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