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COVID-19 Update: Virus Officially in Every Colorado County

Kiowa County has now registered its first COVID-19 case.
Kiowa County has now registered its first COVID-19 case.
Denver7 via YouTube

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, 63 of 64 Colorado counties had reported positive cases of the novel coronavirus. The only exception was Kiowa County, the fifth-least-populated in the state (1,398 residents as of the 2010 census), located in Colorado's southeastern quadrant.

Over recent weeks, Westword has reached out to health authorities in Kiowa County on multiple occasions to ask how this feat was achieved, but received no response. Now the question is academic. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's latest COVID-19 data summary reveals the first confirmed case in Kiowa County.

No corner of the state remains untouched by the virus.

Still, Kiowa County has just that single case of COVID-19, and the case counts in several other counties haven't gone beyond the single digits, including Dolores and Hinsdale (3 each), San Juan (6) and Jackson (9). Contrast that with the totals in Denver County (13,116), Adams (9,099), El Paso (6,871), Jefferson (5,716) and Weld (4,712).

Here are the latest figures for the progress of the disease in Colorado, updated at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 27. We've juxtaposed the stats from September 20 to add perspective.

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69,709 cases (up 4,872 from September 20)
7,523 hospitalized (up 160 from September 20)
64 counties (63 counties on September 20)
2,041 deaths among cases (up 27 from September 20)
1,940 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 27 from September 20)
736 outbreaks (up 39 from September 20)

Note that the case increase over the past seven days is the largest in months — and the bump is echoed by infections reported to the state by day, which had been in the 200-300 range until the past few weeks.

September 26 — 550
September 25 — 499
September 24 — 602
September 23 — 598
September 22 — 580
September 21 — 623
September 20 — 539
September 19 — 496
September 18 — 633
September 17 — 606

Colorado's positivity rate is on the rise as well. At 3.86 percent per 100,000 residents, it's inching ever closer to the 5 percent mark considered a warning line by public-health experts. Moreover, the previous week's emergency-department syndromic COVID-19 visits stands at 1.22 percent, a .27 percent boost, and last week's outpatient syndromic COVID-19 visits rose to 3.95 percent, a .57 leap.

Hospitalization data is more stable, but it's started to edge higher, too, albeit at a more modest pace than cases. Here are those numbers over recent ten-day periods.

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

September 27, 2020
263 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/Persons Under Investigation)
177 (67 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
86 (33 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 26, 2020
285 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
186 (65 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
99 (35 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 25, 2020
248 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
171 (69 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
77 (31 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 24, 2020
258 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
167 (65 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
91 (35 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 23, 2020
259 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
158 (61 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
101 (39 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 22, 2020
230 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
148 (64 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
82 (36 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 21, 2020
239 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
152 (64 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
87 (36 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 20, 2020
239 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
150 (63 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
89 (37 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 19, 2020
237 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
144 (61 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
93 (39 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 18, 2020
230 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
147 (64 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
83 (36 percent) Persons Under Investigation

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

September 26, 2020
36 patients admitted to the hospital
29 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 25, 2020
24 patients admitted to the hospital
27 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 24, 2020
44 patients admitted to the hospital
27 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 23, 2020
29 patients admitted to the hospital
24 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 22, 2020
23 patients admitted to the hospital
23 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 21, 2020
22 patients admitted to the hospital
23 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 20, 2020
25 patients admitted to the hospital
23 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 19, 2020
21 patients admitted to the hospital
20 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 18, 2020
23 patients admitted to the hospital
20 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 17, 2020
27 patients admitted to the hospital
21 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Schools at all levels are also seeing more COVID-19 cases.

Colleges continue to be a primary focus, and for good reason: The University of Colorado Boulder temporarily shifted to remote learning because of an explosion of positive cases that inspired Boulder County Public Health to institute a gatherings ban on all residents between the ages of 18-to-22. And the 900 or so students living at the Braiden and Summit dorms on the Colorado State University campus are now under mandatory quarantine after COVID-19 was detected through wastewater monitoring.

The reported number of schools at the elementary or secondary levels that are partly or entirely on quarantine has been growing substantially, too, with three Douglas County facilities — Mountain Vista High School, Castle View High School and Douglas County High School — presenting telling examples. The latter moved entirely to online learning, at least for the short term, in part "due to the lack of available substitute teachers to cover in-person classes."

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