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Colorado COVID-19 Cases Seven Times Higher Than During First Wave

The Colorado Convention Center has been designated an alternative care site should local hospital capacity be exceeded. It can open with eighty beds and expand to 2,000 beds within five weeks.
The Colorado Convention Center has been designated an alternative care site should local hospital capacity be exceeded. It can open with eighty beds and expand to 2,000 beds within five weeks.

The latest data regarding COVID-19 from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is grim: Among the important metrics, case counts are, on average, over seven times higher than they were during the first wave peak of the novel coronavirus.

The per capita Colorado stats are similar to those in Michigan, where Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced November 15 that she had imposed a temporary moratorium on indoor service at bars and restaurants, as well as closed movie theaters, casinos and bowling alleys, and ordered high schools and colleges to switch to remote learning. But Governor Jared Polis is resisting such moves, continuing his recent policy of encouragement rather than mandates, even though Coloradans, unlike Michiganders, aren't openly threatening rebellion (yet) over anything that smacks of a lockdown.

The CDPHE figures were updated at 4 p.m. on November 15. Here are the stats in major categories compared to those from November 8:

163,417 cases (up 32,433 from November 8)
11,124 hospitalized (up 1,017 from November 8)
64 counties (unchanged from November 8)
2,546 deaths among cases (up 152 from November 8)
2,234 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 66 from November 8)
1,650 outbreaks (up 242 from November 8)

Four more takeaways:

• The increase of 21,000-plus cases from November 1 to November 8 was unprecedented. A week later, that mark was exceeded by more than 50 percent.
• Hospitalizations are maintaining a rate that hasn't been seen in months.
• Deaths among cases are accelerating, jumping from 106 on November 8 to 152 seven days later.
• The pace of outbreaks is quickening, too. They've gone from 192 new reports as of November 8 to 242 on November 15, suggesting that the record-shattering 214 additions in the CDPHE's November 11 roster will be surpassed two days from now.

Here are COVID-19 cases in Colorado by the date they were reported over the most recent ten-day period:

November 14 — 3,774
November 13 — 4,644
November 12 — 6,190
November 11 — 5,184
November 10 — 3,742
November 9 — 3,662
November 8 — 3,769
November 7 — 3,183
November 6 — 3,615
November 5 — 3,626

The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in Colorado on November 14 was 4,423.6, a number 7.099 times higher than the 623.1 seven-day average on April 27, the peak date for the spring wave of the disease.

The positivity rate for Colorado — 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" — was at 12.11 percent on November 8. That stat is currently at 13.08 percent, which is actually 0.39 percent lower than the day before. Syndromic COVID-19 visits stand at 19.62, up from 17.37 a week earlier.

Hospitalization rates are in the same range of terrible. The most hospitalizations recorded during the first wave of the illness were 1,217 on April 17 — but only 878 of those patients had confirmed cases of COVID-19. Compare that to November 15, when 1,417 people were hospitalized for symptoms of the infection and 1,278 of them with confirmed diagnoses. Meanwhile, the average of new hospital admissions by day has gone from 133 to 186.

Those figures over ten-day periods:

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

November 15, 2020
1,417 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,278 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
139 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 14, 2020
1,325 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,187 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
138 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 13, 2020
1,315 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,159 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
156 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 12, 2020
1,322 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,183 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
139 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 11, 2020
1,304 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,169 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
135 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 10, 2020
1,270 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,116 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
154 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 9, 2020
1,174 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,060 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
114 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 8, 2020
1,134 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,023 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
111 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 7, 2020
1,092 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
985 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
107 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

November 6, 2020
1,041 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
936 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
105 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

November 15, 2020
220 patients admitted to the hospital
186 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 14, 2020
204 patients admitted to the hospital
177 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 13, 2020
181 patients admitted to the hospital
168 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 12, 2020
185 patients admitted to the hospital
166 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 11, 2020
202 patients admitted to the hospital
164 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 10, 2020
175 patients admitted to the hospital
155 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 9, 2020
133 patients admitted to the hospital
151 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 8, 2020
162 patients admitted to the hospital
154 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 7, 2020
141 patients admitted to the hospital
143 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

November 6, 2020
165 patients admitted to the hospital
143 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

These numbers are very similar to those of Michigan. Colorado's population, measured by the U.S. Census Bureau at 5,758,736 as of July 2019, is roughly 57.7 percent of Michigan's 9,986,857. But the 4,423.6 average cases over the past week is 62 percent of the 7,072 recorded in Michigan yesterday. Moreover, the positivity rates are quite close: 13.8 in Michigan, 13.08 in Colorado.

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During a November 13 press conference, Polis came close to saying he wouldn't impose another statewide stay-at-home order no matter what — and over the weekend, his main action against the virus was a press release urging businesses to have their employees work remotely as much as possible.

“Coloradans working remotely when possible will save lives,” he said. “Every Coloradan needs to step up and do our part to keep our communities healthy and our economy running, and they include working from home whenever possible these next few weeks.”

The clock is ticking on how long Polis will be able to hold off on stricter actions.

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