Coronavirus

Damn It! New COVID-19 Cases Back Over 10K in a Week

Vaccinations at Dick's Sporting Goods Park have started up again following a pause on April 7.
Vaccinations at Dick's Sporting Goods Park have started up again following a pause on April 7. 9News via YouTube
The latest surge in COVID-19 in Colorado is still going strong. Fresh data about the novel coronavirus reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment includes 10,000 new cases over the course of a single week — the first time that number has been reached in nearly three months, since the post-holiday spike began its slow but hardly final descent.

During an April 9 press conference, Governor Jared Polis referred to the worsening stats as the fourth wave of the disease since the start of the pandemic — and there's no indication that it's crested yet.

Here are the most recent figures from the CDPHE, refreshed after 4 p.m. yesterday, April 11. We've juxtaposed them with information from April 4, highlighted in our last COVID-19 roundup:

478,678 cases (up 10,557 from April 4)
1,616 variants of concern (up 348 from April 4)
31 variants under investigation (unchanged from April 4)
26,274 hospitalizations (up 508 from April 4)
64 counties (unchanged from April 4)
6,157 deaths among cases  (up 31 from April 4)
6,296 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 43 from April 4)
4,466 outbreaks (up 138 from April 4)


Four major takeaways:

• The number of new COVID-19 cases hit the quintuple-digit mark over the past seven days, going from 9,567 on April 4 to 10,557 a week later — a rise of nearly 10 percent. The last time the figures exceeded 10,0000 over that span was the week ending January 24.
• Hospitalizations on a percentage basis increased even more. The 508 new admissions listed on April 11 represent a more than 20 percent jump from the 415 on April 4.
• Until recently, new outbreaks had been essentially static, with 77 on March 21 and 78 on March 28. But 93 were added on April 4, and this week 138 more outbreaks were identified.
• At least the most important figure — deaths attributed to COVID-19 — is heading in the right direction. The 43 fatalities noted on April 11 is down from 57 on April 4.

Too bad that variants of concern, which, according to the CDPHE, "spread easier, cause more severe disease, reduce the effectiveness of treatments or vaccine, or [are] harder to detect using current tests," display no such evidence of improvement. On April 11, they totaled 1,616, a significant increase from the 1,268 on April 4.

Moreover, the department acknowledges that those numbers "are based on a small sampling of positive COVID-19 tests and do not represent the total number of variant cases that may be circulating in Colorado." And Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado's lead epidemiologist, confirmed during the April 9 press conference with Polis that variants now represent the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the state.

Case counts in general have returned to levels that health officials hoped wouldn't be seen again. The 1,864 cases counted on April 6 were the most on a single day since the 1,899 on February 4. Here's the rundown from the past ten days:

April 10 — 1,064 Cases
April 9 — 1,382 Cases
April 8 — 1,703 Cases
April 7 — 1,658 Cases
April 6 — 1,846 Cases
April 5 — 908 Cases
April 4 — 943 Cases
April 3 — 1,422 Cases
April 2 — 1,484 Cases
April 1 — 1,641 Cases

Colorado's positivity rate, shorthanded by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins as "the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, or: (positive tests)/(total tests) x 100 percent," is worsening, too. Officials become anxious whenever the rate goes over 5 percent, and the first time Colorado topped that in 2021 was on April 4, when it landed at 6.24 percent. On April 11, it ratcheted up to 6.64 percent, suggesting that not enough people are getting tested for COVID-19, and that could result in many cases going undetected and the virus spreading unchecked.

The hospitalization stats offer more lousy news. The 465 patients hospitalized with COVID in Colorado on April 11 is the most since 482 on February 17. Just as concerning, new daily admissions are up to around eighty; for the ten days prior to April 4, they were mostly in the fifties. Continue for the details.

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

April 11, 2021
465 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
421 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
44 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 10, 2021
460 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
417 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
43 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 9, 2021
454 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
404 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
50 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 8, 2021
449 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
393 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
56 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 7, 2021
450 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
392 (87 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
58 (13 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 6, 2021
436 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
374 (86 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
62 (14 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 5, 2021
401 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
351 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
50 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 4, 2021
376 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
324 (86 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
52 (14 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 3, 2021
358 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
322 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
36 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 2, 2021

376 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
335 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
41 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

April 11, 2021
67 patients admitted to the hospital
81 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 10, 2021
84 patients admitted to the hospital
78 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 9, 2021
69 patients admitted to the hospital
68 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 8, 2021
89 patients admitted to the hospital
69 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 7, 2021
86 patients admitted to the hospital
68 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 6, 2021
86 patients admitted to the hospital
62 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 5, 2021
86 patients admitted to the hospital
57 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 4, 2021
49 patients admitted to the hospital
55 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 3, 2021
11 patients admitted to the hospital
54 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 2, 2021
74 patients admitted to the hospital
59 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Despite these rising concerns, Polis plans to pass oversight of COVID-19 safety protocols to local municipalities on April 16, and events such as in-person high school proms have already been approved. What could possibly go wrong?
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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