Coronavirus

Worst Colorado COVID Hospitalizations Data in Almost Seven Months

One part of the Rose Medical Center complex.
One part of the Rose Medical Center complex. Google Maps
The latest information on the impact of COVID-19 from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reveals across-the-board data deterioration, paced by a spike in new cases and hospitalization counts higher than any since early 2021.

Here are the most recent numbers in major categories from the CDPHE, updated after 4 p.m. August 23. They're juxtaposed with information from our most recent COVID-19 roundup, which tracked figures from August 16.

603,266 cases (up 10,894 from August 16)
20,802 variants of concern (up 1,497 from August 16)
2,614 variants under investigation (up 2 from August 16)
35,096 hospitalized (up 1,323 from August 16)
64 counties (unchanged from August 16)
7,078 deaths among cases (up 37 from August 16)
7,347 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 55 from August 16)
5,701 outbreaks (up 50 from August 16)

Four major takeaways:

• The 10,894 new cases over the past week represents an increase of nearly 3,000 from the 7,910 recorded during the seven days ending August 16.

• New hospitalizations have been on a steady climb over recent weeks: 331 for the week ending August 2; 372 for the week ending August 9; 483 for the week ending August 16. But the new total, 1,497, is more than triple the total on August 16 — an increase of 1,014.

• Outbreaks nearly doubled, jumping from 28 on August 16 to fifty on August 23, even before many school districts launched their 2021-2022 academic year.

• Deaths rose from 28 for the week ending August 16 to fifty for the week ending August 23.

Meanwhile, the state positivity rate is over the 5 percent line — an indication that not enough testing is being done to control the disease's transmission on a community level. The rate stood at 6.96 percent on August 23, and averaged 6.55 percent over the past seven days. The previous week's outpatient syndromic COVID-19 visits stat is also going in the wrong direction; it's been in the 1-2 percent range over the past month or two, but now registers at 3.38 percent.

Daily case counts are going up, too. Five of the ten days between August 6 and August 15 saw new reports of more than 1,000, topped by 1,611 on August 11. In contrast, seven of the ten days between August 13 and August 22 exceeded 1,000, and August 17 doubled that amount, getting to 2,148. That's the most new cases calculated by the state since 2,378 on April 21. Here's the most recent rundown:

August 22 — 827 Cases
August 21 — 1,232 Cases
August 20 — 1,649 Cases
August 19 — 1,733 Cases
August 18 — 1,584 Cases
August 17 — 2,148 Cases
August 16 — 1,104 Cases
August 15 — 689 Cases
August 14 — 861 Cases
August 13 — 1,352 Cases

Still, no statistics are more disheartening than those pertaining to hospitalizations. New admissions exceeded 100 several times over the past ten days, and the 150 on August 16 were the most since 154 on January 26. Moreover, the 734 total COVID hospitalizations yesterday, August 23, surpassed every day prior to, yes, January 26, when 740 people were receiving care.

Here are the details:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

August 23, 2021
76 patients admitted to the hospital
91 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 22, 2021
9 patients admitted to the hospital
102 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 21, 2021
70 patients admitted to the hospital
113 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 20, 2021
128 patients admitted to the hospital
114 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 19, 2021
131 patients admitted to the hospital
109 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 18, 2021
98 patients admitted to the hospital
103 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 17, 2021
125 patients admitted to the hospital
99 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 16, 2021
150 patients admitted to the hospital
95 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 15, 2021
92 patients admitted to the hospital
90 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

August 14, 2021
71 patients admitted to the hospital
81 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

August 23, 2021
734 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
665 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
69 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 22, 2021
723 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
643 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
80 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 21, 2021
725 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
648 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
77 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 20, 2021
700 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
627 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
73 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 19, 2021
691 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
612 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
79 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 18, 2021
693 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
606 (87 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
87 (13 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 17, 2021
647 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
586 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
61 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 16, 2021
632 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
566 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
66 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 15, 2021
583 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
519 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
64 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 14, 2021
573 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
508 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
65 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

President Joe Biden has been touting improved national immunization figures, and says he's hopeful that full federal approval of the Pfizer vaccine, now officially rebranded as Comirnaty, will speed up the momentum. But the figures on the state health department's vaccine data dashboard indicate a general plateau: people fully vaccinated up slightly (from a 32,127 increase on August 16 to 34,044 on August 23), individuals receiving one dose down a bit (from a 42,388 increase on August 16 to 39,551 on August 23), and daily figures for the three major medications staying in the same range. The stats:

3,281,057 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 34,044 from August 16)
3,,606,433 people immunized with at least one dose (up 39,551 from August 16)
1,631 people vaccinated on August 16 with Pfizer vaccine (up 166 from August 16); 3,995 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported August 16 but administered on an earlier date (up 250 from August 16)
530 people immunized on August 16 with Moderna vaccine (down 33 from August 16); 1,304 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported August 16 but administered on an earlier date (down 80 from August 16)
37 people vaccinated on August 16 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (down 9 from August 16); 263 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported August 9 but administered on an earlier date (up 97 from August 16)

In the battle against COVID-19 in Colorado, we're losing ground.
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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