Coronavirus

COVID in Colorado: Fewest ICU Beds Available Since Start of Pandemic

Outside UCHealth Memorial Center Hospital in Colorado Springs.
Outside UCHealth Memorial Center Hospital in Colorado Springs. Google Maps
The ongoing fight against COVID-19 is taking its toll on Colorado hospitals as well as residents. The latest statistics from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reveal the fewest number of available intensive-care-unit beds since the virus was first detected here in March 2020 — just 120 in the entire state. And assorted other statistics have established new worsts for the virus in Colorado circa 2021.

Here are the most recent CDPHE figures in major categories, updated after 4 p.m. on October 25; they're juxtaposed with our previous COVID-19 survey, which tracked information from October 18.

727,506 cases (up 17,634 from October 18)
19,518 variants of concern (up 500 from October 18)
64 counties (unchanged since October 18)
41,576 hospitalized (up 1,342 from October 18)
8,086 deaths among cases (up 169 from October 18)
8,363 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 243 from October 18)
6,386 outbreaks (up 73 from October 18)

Four takeaways:


• New cases jumped from 15,009 for the week ending October 18 to 17,634 for the week ending October 25.

• Likewise, new hospitalizations more than doubled, going from 598 on October 18 to 1,342 on October 25.

• COVID outbreaks are also up, with the 73 added on October 25 considerably higher than the 58 registered on October 18.

• The numbers related to deaths from COVID-19 are rising even faster. On October 25, more than 243 were added to the roster for the previous week — more than four times the 55 added on October 18.


Over a recent ten-day stretch, the CDPHE registered more than 1,400 new cases each day, including a stunning 3,004 on October 20. That's the most since 3,207 cases were reported on January 7. Here's the rundown.

October 24 — 1,528 Cases
October 23 — 1,749 Cases
October 22 — 2,335 Cases
October 21 — 2,538 Cases
October 20 — 3,004 Cases
October 19 — 2,244 Cases
October 18 — 1,862 Cases
October 17 — 1,458 Cases
October 16 — 1,632 Cases
October 15 — 2,011 Cases

The state's positivity rate is spiking, too. On October 25, it hit 10.76 percent, a rise from the 8.18 percent notched a week earlier and more than double the 5 percent mark that health officials identify as a warning sign that not enough testing is being done. For the week of October 3, every sample sequenced by the CDPHE was associated with the Delta variant of the virus.

As for hospital admissions, the 201 individuals booked on October 21 was the highest number for a single day this year; the last date with a higher total was December 17, 2020, when admissions hit 222. Likewise, the 1,242 hospital patients receiving care for COVID-19 as of October 25 marks another unfortunate 2021 record. This number was last exceeded on December 24, 2020, distinguished by 1,260 COVID patients.

On October 25, 1,514 of 1,634 ICU beds in Colorado were occupied, leaving just 120 open — the fewest of the COVID-19 era. Federal stats show that Colorado was tied with Alaska for the fifth-highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the United States on October 25, trailing only New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island.

Continue reading for data about new hospital admissions and total hospitalizations over the previous ten days.

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

October 25, 2021
178 patients admitted to the hospital
140 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 24, 2021
48 patients admitted to the hospital
128 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 23, 2021
55 patients admitted to the hospital
128 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 22, 2021
135 patients admitted to the hospital
137 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 21, 2021
201 patients admitted to the hospital
135 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 20, 2021
197 patients admitted to the hospital
124 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 19, 2021
166 patients admitted to the hospital
114 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 18, 2021
95 patients admitted to the hospital
119 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 17, 2021
49 patients admitted to the hospital
127 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 16, 2021
119 patients admitted to the hospital
129 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

October 25, 2021
1,242 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,170 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
72 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 24, 2021
1,198 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,108 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 23, 2021
1,184 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,095 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
89 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 22, 2021
1,175 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,093 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
82 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 21, 2021
1,208 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,130 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
78 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 20, 2021
1,172 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,094 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
78 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 19, 2021
1,117 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,042 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
75 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 18, 2021
1,101 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,021 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
80 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 17, 2021
1,082 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,004 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
78 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 16, 2021
1,084 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,007 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
77 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

At least the numbers on the state's vaccine data dashboard are rising, though most of the increases are related to booster shots for people who've already gotten two doses of the medication. Here are the details:

3,549,979 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 23,201 from October 17)
3,856,911 people immunized with at least one dose (up 22,428 from October 17)
1,702 people vaccinated on October 24 with Pfizer vaccine (up 645 from October 17); 9,472 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported October 24 but administered on an earlier date (up 5,605 from October 17)
1,838 people immunized on October 24 with Moderna vaccine (up 1,587 from October 17); 5,147 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported October 17 but administered on an earlier date (up 4,526 from October 17)
119 people vaccinated on October 24 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (up 98 from October 17); 278 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported October 24 but administered on an earlier date (up 242 from October 17)

On October 18, Colorado had 139 open ICU beds — nineteen more than on October 25. No wonder the state is considering a return to the crisis standards of care that were relaxed in February.
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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