Coronavirus

Colorado COVID Hospital Data Worst Since 2020

Outside St. Mary's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction
Outside St. Mary's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction Photo by Michael Roberts
The COVID-19 hospitalization statistics for Colorado are getting worse. According to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as of October 12, new hospital admissions have hit heights not seen since 2020. The number of people hospitalized in the state for the virus is also higher than at any time this year.

On October 12, 178 new patients were hospitalized in Colorado for COVID — the most on a single day since 187 on December 26. And the total of 1,045 people currently hospitalized for the disease is the highest since 1,086 patients on December 31.

The number of hospitalizations once again raises concerns about the stress on intensive-care unit capacity in Colorado. Of the 1,647 ICU hospital beds in Colorado, 1,493, or 91 percent, were in use as of October 12. That left 154 open, up just five from the 149 that Governor Jared Polis cited at a recent press conference as the fewest available since the start of the year. Twenty-four percent of the state's hospital facilities are now anticipating an ICU hospital bed shortage in the next week.

Here are the most recent CDPHE stats in major categories, updated after 4 p.m. on October 12; they're juxtaposed with information from our previous COVID-19 survey, which tracked data from October 4. (We've adjusted the case and hospitalization counts to their October 11 levels to simplify week-to-week comparisons.)


695,133 cases (up 16,478 from October 4, not counting 1,216 on October 12)
18,851 variants of concern (down 12,927 from October 4)
39,636 hospitalizations (up 758 from October 4, not counting 178 on October 12)
64 counties (no change since October 4)
7,790 deaths among cases (up 164 from October 4)
8,065 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 143 from October 4)
6,255 outbreaks (up 95 from October 4)

Four major takeaways:

• The number of new COVID-19 cases ratcheted up from 13,186 for the week ending October 4 to 16,478 for the week ending October 11.

• Hospitalizations: The bump of 758 for the week ending October 11 easily surpassed the increase of 664 on October 4.

• The number of variants of concern plummeted by more than 12,000 — but that's because the CDPHE stopped counting strains that are no longer circulating in Colorado, in alignment with federal guidance. For the week ending September 26, an overwhelming 99.71 percent of cases sequenced by the agency were associated with the Delta variant of COVID-19.

• Deaths related to the disease went from 114 for the week ending October 4 to 143 over the next eight days.

Over the past ten days, the 2,000-daily case barrier was broken three times, compared to just once for the prior ten. And the 2,811 new cases reported on October 11 were the most since 2,952 on January 8. Here's the rundown:

October 11 — 1,216 Cases
October 10 — 1,571 Cases
October 9 — 1,618 Cases
October 8 — 2,383 Cases
October 7 — 2,811 Cases
October 6 — 2,720 Cases
October 5 — 1,722 Cases
October 4 — 1,545 Cases
October 3 — 1,094 Cases
October 2 — 1,524 Cases

The state's positivity rate is also on the rise. Public health officials believe that anything over 5 percent shows that not enough testing is being done, thereby raising the prospect of greater disease spread. On October 12, the positivity rate was 7.41 percent — a high figure, but better than the stunning 11.45 percent calculated on October 11.

The seven-day average of new hospital admissions for COVID-19 has exceeded 100 each day for the past ten, and total hospitalizations have hovered around the 1,000 mark over that same span. Here are the specifics:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

October 12, 2021
178 admitted to the hospital
104 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 11, 2021
134 admitted to the hospital
102 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 10, 2021
38 admitted to the hospital
105 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 9, 2021
32 admitted to the hospital
107 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 8, 2021
150 admitted to the hospital
108 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 7, 2021
103 admitted to the hospital
105 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 6, 2021
91 admitted to the hospital
109 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 5, 2021
168 admitted to the hospital
115 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 4, 2021
156 admitted to the hospital
107 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 3, 2021
52 admitted to the hospital
101 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

October 12, 2021
1,045 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
976 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
69 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 11, 2021
1,012 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
944 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
68 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 10, 2021
970 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
892 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
78 (8 percent Persons Under Investigation

October 9, 2021
974 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
880 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
94 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 8, 2021
979 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
890 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
89 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 7, 2021
990 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
909 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
81 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 6, 2021
1,018 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
922 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
96 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 5, 2021
982 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
881 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
101 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 4, 2021
941 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
864 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
77 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 3, 2021
909 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
829 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
80 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

As for inoculations, our comparisons with the CDPHE's vaccine data dashboard cover eight days, not seven, so it's no surprise that the numbers are up — but only modestly. Here are the details:

3,506,436 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 28,165 from October 3)
3,816,740 people immunized with at least one dose (up 26,273 from October 3)
4,777 people vaccinated on October 11 with Pfizer vaccine (up 3,323 from October 3); 7,249 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported October 11 but administered on an earlier date (up 1,547 from October 3)
665 people immunized on October 11 with Moderna vaccine (up 437 from October 3); 1,192 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported October 11 but administered on an earlier date (up 383 from October 3)
115 people vaccinated on October 11 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (up 98 from October 3); 183 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported October 11 but administered on an earlier date (up 79 from October 3)

Judging from the latest stats, vaccination rates in Colorado aren't matching the rise in hospitalizations — yet another reason for concern during this latest stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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