Coronavirus

Colorado's COVID Omicron Wave Still Not Receding

Outside St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo.
Outside St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo. Google Maps
The latest COVID figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show modest improvement over the weeks when the Omicron variant wave first came crashing down on the state. But cases, hospitalizations and deaths, especially, continue to rise at some of the highest rates recorded since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Here are the COVID statistics in major categories as updated by the CDPHE after 4 p.m. January 24. They're juxtaposed with information from our previous COVID data roundup, which drew from January 17 figures:

1,208,172 cases (up 74,497 from January 17)
26,495 variants of concern (up 188 from January 17)
64 counties (unchanged from January 17)
55,512 hospitalized (up 1,624 from January 17)
10,847 deaths among cases (up 188 from January 17)
11,319 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 316 from January 17)
7,848 outbreaks (up 214 from January 17)

Four takeaways:

• The number of new COVID cases in Colorado dipped from 93,165 for the week ending January 17 to 74,497 over the subsequent seven days. But the latest total is still more than double the approximately 32,000-per-week average from December 13 to January 3.

• In contrast, new hospitalizations are actually up slightly, from 1,438 for the week of January 17 to 1,624 on January 24.

• Deaths attributed to COVID-19 saw the biggest jump: The 316 counted on January 24 is more than triple the January 17 number of 101.

• Meanwhile, the pace of outbreaks has slowed, but not by much. The state health department added 218 as of January 24, just ten fewer than the 228 on January 17.

Daily COVID case counts over the last ten-day period aren't as eye-popping as those earlier this month, but they remain hefty; five days saw more than 10,000 new infections. The details:

January 23 — 5,521 Cases
January 22 — 5,545 Cases
January 21 — 8,226 Cases
January 20 — 11,187 Cases
January 19 — 13,630 Cases
January 18 — 10,740 Cases
January 17 — 10,438 Cases
January 16 — 6,985 Cases
January 15 — 9,026 Cases
January 14 — 15,404 Cases

The Omicron variant of COVID accounts for 100 percent of samples sequenced by the CDPHE during the week of January 9, the most recent for which stats are available, and the state's positivity rate is at 23.23 percent, nearly five times higher than the 5 percent level officials prefer to stay below. But at least the state's ICU bed availability has loosened a bit; 148 were open statewide on January 17, a marked improvement over the 121 on January 17.

New hospital admissions for COVID-19 currently average around 250 per day, significantly better than the 300-plus of the previous week. But the overall number of patients hospitalized for the disease continues to vacillate between 1,600 and 1,700 or more — levels at the upper end of those seen over the previous 22 months or so. Here's the rundown:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

January 24, 2022
237 patients admitted to the hospital
250 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 23, 2022
116 patients admitted to the hospital
238 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 22, 2022
99 patients admitted to the hospital
245 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 21, 2022
336 patients admitted to the hospital
265 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 20, 2022
316 patients admitted to the hospital
279 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 20, 2022
316 patients admitted to the hospital
279 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 18, 2022
295 patients admitted to the hospital
310 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 17, 2022
150 patients admitted to the hospital
324 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 16, 2022
167 patients admitted to the hospital
353 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

January 15, 2022
240 patients admitted to the hospital
354 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

January 24, 2022
1,644 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,581 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
63 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 23, 2022
1,651 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,595 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
56 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 22, 2022
1,636 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,583 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
53 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 21, 2022
1,682 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,629 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
53 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 20, 2022
1,692 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,641 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
51 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 19, 2022
1,730 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,674 (97 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
56 (3 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 18, 2022
1,744 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,676 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
68 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 17, 2022
1,724 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,655 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
69 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 16, 2022
1,742 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,676 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
66 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 15, 2022
1,723 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,657 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
66 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

Even sorrier stats are delivered by the CDPHE's vaccine data dashboard. Around 5,000 fewer Coloradans reached full-immunization status for the week ending January 23 (14,955) than the week ending January 16 (20,556), and the distribution of daily Pfizer and Moderna doses was significantly off, too. More details:

3,873,622 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 14,955 from January 16)
4,312,085 people immunized with at least one dose (up 21,282 from January 16)
652 people vaccinated on January 23 with Pfizer vaccine (down 630 from January 16); 1,303 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported January 23 but administered on an earlier date (down 1,720 from January 16)
538 people immunized on January 23 with Moderna vaccine (down 159 from January 16); 1,327 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported January 23 but administered on an earlier date (down 482 from January 16)
32 people vaccinated on January 23 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (up 1 from January 16); 93 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported January 23 but administered on an earlier date (up 34 from January 16)

If the Omicron wave has peaked in Colorado, the state has yet to see much of it recede.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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