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Inside Colorado's Post-Christmas COVID-19 Rise

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During a January 8 press conference about Colorado's ongoing battle against COVID-19, Governor Jared Polis confirmed that case numbers, which had been steadily declining since fearsome peaks in November, had started rising again in the two weeks or so after Christmas, and noted that officials will be on the lookout for a possible New Year's bump.

The most recent data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that the increases aren't yet at levels similar to those experienced in the state a month or two ago — but risk remains.

Here are the stats in major categories, as updated at 4:30 p.m. on January 10; we've juxtaposed them with the January 4 figures from our previous COVID-19 weekly numbers roundup:

361,148 cases (up 19,898 from January 4)
19,985 hospitalized (up 1,272 from January 4)
64 counties (unchanged from January 4)
5,208 deaths among cases (up 274 from January 4)
4,107 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 200 from January 4)
3,179 outbreaks (up 126 from January 4)

Four major takeaways:

• The pace of cases has definitely quickened. The increase of 19,898 easily exceeded the average weekly bump of 17,686 between December 13 and January 4.
• Hospitalizations are up, too. The average count over the three-week period between December 13 and January 4 was 862 — about two-thirds of the current 1,272.
• Deaths among COVID cases and directly attributable to the disease are both down — from an average of 325 from December 13 to January 4 to 274 for the former on January 10, and from 298 to 200 for deaths attributed to COVID on January 10. But because fatalities are a lagging statistic, these figures could jump: The current death toll averaged just under 29 per day this past week.
• Outbreaks continue to trend downward; the average from December 13 to January 4 was 146 a week, compared to the current 126. But with many schools restarting in-person education today, January 11, that could change quickly.

The new COVID-19 case totals over the past ten days are an up-and-down affair. But two recent days registered more than 3,000 cases, considerably above the highest points in our last survey.

January 9, 2021 — 1,989 Cases
January 8, 2021 — 2,719 Cases
January 7, 2021 — 3,059 Cases
January 6, 2021 — 3,245 Cases
January 5, 2021 — 1,946 Cases
January 4, 2021 — 1,518 Cases
January 3, 2021 — 2,022 Cases
January 2, 2021 — 1,865 Cases
January 1, 2021 — 1,850 Cases
December 31, 2020 — 2,654 Cases

Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate, defined 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," have climbed, too, but not by much. The seven-day positivity rate for the state currently stands at 7.80 percent, compared to 7.67 percent on January 4. And outpatient syndromic COVID visits remain static, registering 4.42 percent on both January 4 and January 11.

The current hospitalization numbers are down slightly from the week before — and so are daily admissions. Here are those figures:

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

January 10, 2021
873 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
801 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 9, 2021
886 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
817 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 8, 2021
915 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
833 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 7, 2021
954 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
857 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 6, 2021
979 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
911 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 5, 2021
988 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
911 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 4, 2021
1,015 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
924 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 3, 2021
991 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
908 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 2, 2021
1,016 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
918 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

January 1, 2021
1,044 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
952 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

January 10, 2021
77 patients admitted to the hospital
107 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 9, 2021
113 patients admitted to the hospital
110 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 8, 2021
92 patients admitted to the hospital
109 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 7, 2021
82 patients admitted to the hospital
113 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 6, 2021
120 patients admitted to the hospital
117 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 4, 2021
126 patients admitted to the hospital
123 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 3, 2021
97 patients admitted to the hospital
127 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 2, 2021
108 patients admitted to the hospital
135 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 1, 2021
122 patients admitted to the hospital
146 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

When viewed as a whole, the latest stats fall well short of a catastrophic spike — yet some trends are definitely worrisome. To borrow a phrase from Polis, who recently extended Colorado's mask mandate for another thirty days, we're not out of the woods yet.

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