Coronavirus

Colorado COVID Deaths Jump Again

Outside UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins.
Outside UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins. Google Maps
One of the common assumptions regarding the ongoing fight against COVID-19 in Colorado is that because of improved patient care, few infected people are losing their lives these days. But that simply isn't true. Over the past week, an average of over sixteen people died from the disease in the state every day.

Here are the latest stats from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in major categories, updated September 20. They're juxtaposed with information from our most recent COVID-19 survey, which tracked figures from September 13.

653,465 cases (up 13,085 from September 13)
27,183 variants of concern (up 1,577 from September 13)
2,623 variants under investigation (up 1 from September 13)
37,619 hospitalized (up 688 from September 13)
64 counties (unchanged since September 13)
7,405 deaths among cases (up 103 from September 13)
7,715 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 116 from September 13)
6,012 outbreaks (up 88 from September 13)

Four major takeaways:


• Once again, new cases are up, but not by much. The 13,805 increase from September 13 to September 20 compares to 12,965 over the previous seven-day period.

• Hospitalizations are rising a little faster. On September 13, the bump was 616; on September 20, it was 688 hospitalizations.

• Outbreaks dipped slightly: 88 new entries on September 20, versus 91 on September 13.

• But fatalities are definitely increasing. Deaths among cases — a category that lists individuals for whom COVID-19 was one of several factors in their passing — jumped from 77 for the week ending September 13 to 103 through September 20. Deaths directly attributed to COVID-19 went from 110 on September 13 to 116 on September 20 — that translates to an average of 16.57 deaths per day.

Over the past ten days, at least a thousand cases have been added each day, with 2,434 racked up on September 10 alone (revised upward from an original estimate of 2,350). That was the highest number since 2,379 on April 21. Here's the rundown:

September 19 — 1,008 Cases
September 18 — 1,342 Cases
September 17 — 1,627 Cases
September 16 — 1,908 Cases
September 15 — 2,041 Cases
September 14 — 1,976 Cases
September 13 — 1,659 Cases
September 12 — 1,326 Cases
September 11 — 1,742 Cases
September 10 — 2,434 Cases

The state positivity rate on September 20 was 5.91 percent, above the 5 percent threshold that officials see as a warning sign that not enough testing is being done — and the seven-day average rate of 6.37 percent is even worse. Moreover, the number of outpatient syndromic COVID-19 visits has broken the 5 percent barrier, too, landing at 5.78 percent on September 20.

The number of new hospital admissions varied widely over the previous ten-day period, topped by the total of 134 on September 20. Meanwhile, overall hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to hover around 1,000, and the 1,021 people receiving care on September 14 nearly set a new record for 2021. The last time the number of people hospitalized for the disease was higher? January 1, when the total stood at 1,044. Here are the current details:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

September 20, 2021
134 patients admitted to the hospital
84 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 19, 2021
25 patients admitted to the hospital
83 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 18, 2021
14 patients admitted to the hospital
83 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 17, 2021
110 patients admitted to the hospital
87 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 16, 2021
88 patients admitted to the hospital
92 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 15, 2021
91 patients admitted to the hospital
97 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 14, 2021
128 patients admitted to the hospital
105 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 13, 2021
127 patients admitted to the hospital
104 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 12, 2021
25 patients admitted to the hospital
92 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

September 11, 2021
43 patients admitted to the hospital
95 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

September 20, 2021
980 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
890 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 19, 2021
935 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
849 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
86 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 18, 2021
930 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
847 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
83 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 17, 2021
952 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
868 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
84 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 16, 2021
975 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
887 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
88 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 15, 2021
984 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
898 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
86 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 14, 2021
1,021 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
921 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
100 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 13, 2021
1,003 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
914 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
89 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 12, 2021
976 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
895 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
81 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 11, 2021
978 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
904 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
74 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

According to the CDPHE's vaccine-data dashboard, the pace of inoculations is fairly steady; the number of individuals newly fully immunized against the disease climbed from 31,471 for the week of September 13 to 34,016 through September 20, although those getting their first dose slid from 30,004 to 29,886 over that span. But vaccination totals for yesterday lagged substantially for all three major vaccines over the same day last week, and just fifteen people in the entire state got a Janssen jab yesterday. Here are the stats:

3,420,472 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 34,016 from September 13)
3,737,523 people immunized with at least one dose (up 29,886 from September 13)
797 people vaccinated on September 20 with Pfizer vaccine (down 436 from September 13); 4,449 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported September 20 but administered on an earlier date (up 312 from September 13)
315 people immunized on September 20 with Moderna vaccine (down 188 from September 13); 1,268 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported September 20 but administered on an earlier date (down 29 from September 13)
15 people vaccinated on September 20 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (down 17 from September 13); 244 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported September 20 but administered on an earlier date (up 24 from September 13)

The CDPHE keeps stressing that vaccinations are the best defense against the most serious effects of COVID-19. But plenty of Coloradans are still paying the ultimate price.
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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