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Concerning Signs in New Colorado COVID-19 Data

Mask use is becoming increasingly rare at major metro Denver retail outlets.EXPAND
Mask use is becoming increasingly rare at major metro Denver retail outlets.
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The undertone of official messaging about the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to recall that moment in 2003 after the U.S. attack on Afghanistan when President George W. Bush stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in front of a sign reading "Mission Accomplished." While the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment includes some upbeat developments, mostly regarding hospitalizations, other stats related to rising case counts and deaths, plus the slower-than-hoped rate of vaccinations, make it clear the disease is far from defeated.

Here are the most recent COVID-19 numbers from the CDPHE, refreshed after 4 p.m. on June 13, juxtaposed with information from June 6, highlighted in our last roundup:

551,091 cases (up 4,217 from June 6)
10,795 variants of concern (up 1,249 from June 6
916 variants under investigation (up 179 from June 6)
30,895 hospitalized (up 327 from June 6)
64 counties (unchanged from June 6)
6,689 deaths among cases (up 76 from June 6)
6,844 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 74 from June 6)
5,465 outbreaks (up 25 from June 6)

Four major takeaways:

• New hospitalizations remain on a downward trajectory. They dipped from 408 in the week leading up to May 31, to 370 in the seven days before June 6, to 327 in the week ending June 13.

• The rate of newly identified COVID-19 outbreaks is also dropping; the bump of 25 on June 13 is considerably smaller than the 34 added on June 6. But the decision by the CDPHE to change the definition of an outbreak from two cases per setting to five is a factor that can't be ignored.

• There was no such improvement in deaths for people with COVID-19, which more than doubled from 33 on June 6 to 76 on June 13, and deaths directly attributed to the virus, which went from 52 on June 6 to 74 on June 13.

• Also rising is the number of new COVID-19 cases: 4,217 new infections in the week leading to June 13, compared to 3,700 in the seven days ending June 6.

The daily COVID-19 case counts offer more context; they're much better than those a month ago, but hundreds of cases are still being registered every day.

June 12 — 294 Cases
June 11 — 574 Cases
June 10 — 381 Cases
June 9 — 464 Cases
June 8 — 430 Cases
June 7 — 439 Cases
June 6 — 257 Cases
June 5 — 340 Cases
June 4 — 537 Cases
June 3 — 597 Cases

The state's positivity rate on June 13 has also climbed, albeit very slightly, from 2.38 percent on June 6 to 2.69 percent on June 13. And the pace of variants — 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" — is quickening, too. Variants of concern went from 593 new cases on June 6 to 1,249 on June 13.

At least hospitalizations are moving in the right direction. The seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital was 48 on June 6, but fell to 35 on June 13. The total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has been below 400 for the most recent ten-day period for which figures are available.

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

June 13, 2021
15 patients admitted to the hospital
35 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 12, 2021
16 patients admitted to the hospital
37 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 11, 2021
52 patients admitted to the hospital
41 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 10, 2021
40 patients admitted to the hospital
42 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 9, 2021
44 patients admitted to the hospital
47 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 8, 2021
45 patients admitted to the hospital
48 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 7, 2021
36 patients admitted to the hospital
48 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 6, 2021
24 patients admitted to the hospital
49 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 5, 2021
47 patients admitted to the hospital
56 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

June 4, 2021
56 patients admitted to the hospital
56 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

June 13, 2021
379 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
334 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
45 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 12, 2021
384 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
340 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
44 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 11, 2021
402 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
352 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
50 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 10, 2021
409 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
358 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
51 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 9, 2021
427 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
371 (87 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
56 (13 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 8, 2021
449 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
396 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
53 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 7, 2021
447 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
403 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
44 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 6, 2021
449 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
411 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
38 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 5, 2021
460 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
415 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
45 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

June 4, 2021
483 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
431 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
52 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

While hospitalization stats are trending in the right direction, the numbers on the CDPHE's vaccine data dashboard are more mixed. Here's the info from June 12, the most recent date available:

2,756,249 people fully immunized (up 157,734 from June 5)
3,131,453 people immunized with one dose (up 92,932 from June 5)
5,436 people vaccinated on June 12 with Pfizer vaccine (down 1,041 from June 5); 2,924 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported June 12 but administered on an earlier date (down 3,889 from June 5)
1,797 people immunized on June 12 with Moderna vaccine (down 2,127 from June 5); 1,246 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported June 12 but administered on an earlier date (down 1,066 from June 5)
155 people vaccinated on June 12 with Janssen vaccine (down 328 from June 5); 338 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported June 12 but administered on an earlier date (down 26 from June 5)

The overall immunization numbers show a definite improvement over the past week; people inoculated with at least one dose went from a 16,020 increase on June 5 to 92,9932 on June 12, and those fully vaccinated jumped by 157,734 — much better than the 16,929 on June 5. But the June 12 numbers for Pfizer and Moderna shots are way down from the previous week, and the Janssen vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is essentially an afterthought. Only 155 people in the entire state got a Janssen dose the week ending June 12.

So is COVID-19 over? Not by a long shot.

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