Coronavirus

Colorado Blows Past One Million COVID Cases

The latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is filled with eye-popping information related to the ongoing surge of the highly infectious Omicron variant, including confirmation that Colorado has now exceeded one million cases of the disease since the pandemic began.

Here are the COVID statistics in major categories as updated by the CDPHE after 4 p.m. January 10. They're juxtaposed with information from our previous COVID data roundup, which drew from January 3 figures.

1,040,510 cases (up 86,011 from January 3)
25,927 variants of concern (up 520 from January 3)
64 counties (unchanged since January 3)
52,450 hospitalizations (up 1,556 from January 3)
10,466 deaths among cases (up 173 from January 3)
10,902 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 350 from January 3)
7,406 outbreaks (up 181 from January 3)

Four takeaways:

• The number of weekly COVID cases in Colorado has hit new heights. The health department counted 96,117 fresh infections between December 13 and January 3, which breaks down to 32,039 per week. The 86,011 cases counted during the week ending January 10 is nearly triple that.

• New hospitalizations averaged 653 per week over the three weeks between December 13 and January 3. The 1,556 for the week ending January 10 more than doubles that amount.

• Deaths attributed to COVID-19 averaged out to just under 200 per week from December 13 to January 3. The January 10 report notes 350 deaths that week.

• The 181 COVID outbreaks total for the week ending January 10 is just shy of the 192 between December 13 and January 3, suggesting that last week's explosion of outbreaks will continue.

On December 31, Colorado's daily COVID case counts reached a new high of 11,018. But that record lasted for less than a week; on January 5, the health department documented 17,438 cases. The avalanche of positive tests contributed to more than 90,000 cases confirmed since January 1. Here's the rundown from the past ten days:

January 9 — 6,845 Cases
January 8 — 10,422 Cases
January 7 — 10,971 Cases
January 6 — 10,618 Cases
January 5 — 17,438 Cases
January 4 — 13,359 Cases
January 3 — 7,727 Cases
January 2 — 7,258 Cases
January 1 — 6,040 Cases
December 31 — 11,904 Cases

The Omicron variant of COVID has now completely knocked out the Delta variant that preceded it. During the week ending December 26, the most recent for which stats are available, 100 percent of the samples sequenced by the CDPHE were linked to Omicron. Meanwhile, the state's positivity rate was at 26.87 on January 10, more than quintuple the 5 percent that health experts see as an indication of whether enough testing is being done. But at least the intensive-care unit crunch has lessened slightly: The state had 122 ICU beds open statewide on January 3; on January 10, there were 150.

As for new hospital admissions for the disease, the seven-day average of 314 on January 10 is up by nearly a third from the 220 on January 3. Moreover, the 430 COVID admissions on January 4 topped the previous pandemic peak of 355 on December 31; prior to that, the most admissions on a single day took place way back on November 20, 2020, with 352. Total admissions are also higher, having gone from around 1,200 through January 3 to nearly 1,500 now. Yet that's still slower than the pace of new cases, offering support to the theory that Omicron tends to cause milder symptoms than did Delta.

The details:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

January 10, 2022
332 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
314 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 9, 2022
138 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
304 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 8, 2022
299 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
294 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 7, 2022
315 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
262 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 6, 2022
416 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
268 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 5, 2022
266 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
254 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 4, 2022
430 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
257 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 3, 2022
263 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
220 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 2, 2022
71 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
229 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

January 1, 2022
76 — Patients Admitted to the Hospital
225 — Seven-Day Average Patients Admitted to the Hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

January 10, 2022
1,466 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,402 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
64 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 9, 2022
1,482 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,416 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
66 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 8, 2022
1,481 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,416 (96 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
65 (4 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 7, 2022
1,447 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,374 (95 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
73 (5 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 6, 2022
1,440 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,355 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
85 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 5, 2022
1,384 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,308 (95 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
76 (5 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 4, 2022
1,380 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,292 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
88 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 3, 2022
1,234 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,167 (95 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
67 (5 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 2, 2022
1,193 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,116 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
77 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 1, 2022
1,211 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,136 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
75 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

The numbers found on the CDPHE's vaccine data dashboard aren't as grim, but still disappointing. The number of fully immunized Coloradans rose by 22,734 for the week ending January 9 — but that's roughly half as many who reached that status a month earlier, during the week of December 12. Other gains were similarly sluggish:

3,838,111 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 22,734 from January 2)
4,261,158 people immunized with at least one dose (up 28,301 from January 2)
1,617 people vaccinated on January 9 with Pfizer vaccine (up 52 from January 2); 3,722 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported January 9 but administered on an earlier date (up 2,397 from January 2)
828 people immunized on January 9 with Moderna vaccine (down 82 from January 2); 2,195 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported January 9 but administered on an earlier date (up 1,081 from January 2)
28 people vaccinated on January 9 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (down 10 from January 2); 59 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported January 9 but administered on an earlier date (up 1 from January 2)

These stats do nothing to disprove the recent prediction by University of Colorado Hospital head of nursing Kathy Howell that January could prove to be the scariest month of the pandemic.
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