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Why More States May Make Traveling Coloradans Quarantine

In late September, New York ordered Coloradans visiting the state to quarantine for fourteen days.
In late September, New York ordered Coloradans visiting the state to quarantine for fourteen days.

In the past week or so, four statesNew York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Mexico — have categorized Colorado as a high-risk location because of rising COVID-19 rates, and mandated that visitors from Colorado quarantine prior to moving freely within their borders. While some of the numbers that led to Colorado's recent undesirable status have started to moderate, the latest figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show that current hospitalizations have risen to a level not seen for months.

Here are the COVID-19 stats in major categories as updated by the CDPHE at 4 p.m. October 4, juxtaposed with those from one week earlier.

73,076 cases (up 3,367 from September 27)
7,673 hospitalizations (up 150 from September 27)
64 counties (unchanged)
2,068 deaths among cases (up 27 from September 27)
1,968 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 28 from September 27)
798 outbreaks (up 62 from September 27)

And the major jump in outbreaks suggests that last week's record-setting total of fresh entries could be eclipsed within days.

Meanwhile, the state's positivity rate stands at 3.53 percent per 100,000 people — still below the 5 percent benchmark considered a warning sign by state officials, but higher than it was through August and much of September.

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The same is true for the number of new COVID-19 cases reported each day, which had been in the 200-to-300 range but now is routinely double that amount, as evidenced by stats from the past ten days:

October 3 — 496
October 2 — 558
October 1 — 574
September 30 — 628
September 29 — 487
September 28 — 500
September 27 — 422
September 26 — 602
September 25 — 625
September 24 — 694

This graphic showing COVID-19 cases by seven-day average indicates that the state is still in the midst of its third peak since the start of the pandemic.

Even more concerning is the trend in hospitalizations. During an October 2 press conference, Governor Jared Polis revealed that the number of admissions to medical facilities because of the novel coronavirus had topped 200 for the first time since August 9, and was nearly double the 120 people hospitalized just two weeks earlier. As of October 4, that total had exceeded 300.

Here's the CDPHE lowdown on two major hospitalization categories over the most recent ten-day period:

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

October 4, 2020
303 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
213 (70 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (30 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 3, 2020
296 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
205 (69 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
91 (31 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 2, 2020
304 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
219 (72 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
85 (28 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 1, 2020
282 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
200 (71 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
82 (29 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 30, 2020
264 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
178 (67 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
86 (33 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 29, 2020
268 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
174 (65 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
94 (35 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 28, 2020
246 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
177 (72 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
69 (28 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 27, 2020
263 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
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

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

October 4, 2020
34 patients admitted to the hospital
34 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 3, 2020
19 patients admitted to the hospital
31 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 2, 2020
39 patients admitted to the hospital
34 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

October 1, 2020
48 patients admitted to the hospital
32 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 30, 2020
39 patients admitted to the hospital
31 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

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

September 28, 2020
31 patients admitted to the hospital
30 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 27, 2020
12 patients admitted to the hospital
29 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 26, 2020
38 patients admitted to the hospital
31 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

September 25, 2020
26 patients admitted to the hospital
28 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

The hospitalization increase raises the possibility that young people who make up the majority of new cases but tend to avoid serious illness are transmitting the virus to older individuals at greater risk. And educational institutions remain a significant incubator: The reported number of schools at the elementary, secondary and college level that have had to institute partial or total quarantine procedures has risen substantially in the past seven days.

With more schools returning to in-person instruction, this situation could get worse before it improves. But at least it's unlikely that students will miss class anytime soon because of trips to New York City.

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