COVID-19: Those Orders Freedom Lovers Hate Seem to Be Working

COVID-19: Those Orders Freedom Lovers Hate Seem to Be Working
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Over recent weeks, officials in Weld County, business operators in metro Denver and plenty of just plain folks have decried public-health orders put in place by Governor Jared Polis, led by a statewide mask mandate and a temporary 10 p.m. last call at bars and restaurants. But the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment serves as an effective argument against those who revile such edicts as a supposed infringement on their personal freedom.

Updated stats from the CDPHE reveal that the number of positive cases and hospitalizations in Colorado, which had been rising at a worrisome rate, have declined in the weeks since the policies were put in place — and while the current plateau is at a higher level than officials would like, the positivity percentage is below the point at which Polis recently said alarms would start ringing.

These are the figures in major categories reported by the department at 5:27 p.m. on August 2:

47,727 Cases
6,479 Hospitalized
63 Counties
544,023 People tested
481 Outbreaks
1,844 Deaths among cases
1,691 Deaths due to COVID-19

Although such numbers are hardly worth cheering, they've moderated across the board since June, when cases and hospitalizations caused by the novel coronavirus began to climb.

The new-case numbers during the ten days leading into August, for example, document a slide of as much as 34 percent:

August 1 — 449
July 31 — 449
July 30 — 448
July 29 — 547
July 28 — 482
July 27 — 530
July 26 — 515
July 25 — 679
July 24 — 682
July 23 — 624

Granted, the current number of new cases is well above the 128 tallied on June 15, the bottom of the trough over the past couple of months. But at least they're headed in the right direction. And the positivity rate of 3.99 percent is the lowest under the 5 percent lid that authorities hope not to raise since the 3.83 percent on June 28.

Hospitalizations, too, have come down from previous peaks, albeit not by as much, as seen in stats from the last ten days:

August 2 — 221
August 1 — 218
July 31 — 232
July 30 — 239
July 29 — 244
July 28 — 251
July 27 — 250
July 26 — 241
July 25 — 246
July 24 — 247

If the numbers in this category represent something of a holding pattern, they're at least helping to keep COVID-19 deaths in the single digits each day, as seen in the most current number of deaths available:

July 30 — 4
July 29 — 3
July 28 — 7
July 27 — 4
July 26 — 2
July 25 — 5
July 24 — 4
July 23 — 4
July 22 — 4
July 21 — 1

The full impact of Polis's 10 p.m. last call, which a judge ruled last week was legal, may not be felt for another few days. But at least for now, Colorado has avoided setting the ignominious records seen in places such as Texas and Florida since mid-July, despite critics' complaints.

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