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COVID-19 Update: No Big Spikes, but School Cases Growing

Hodgkins Leadership Academy is located at 3475 West 67th Avenue in Westminster.
Hodgkins Leadership Academy is located at 3475 West 67th Avenue in Westminster.
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The most recent snapshot of COVID-19's spread across the state from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is relatively upbeat, despite some wild swings in case counts over the past ten days; the statistics remain well below the point at which health-care systems in the state would be overwhelmed. But concerns linger regarding the many schools that have registered positive diagnoses among students or employees over recent days.

Here are Colorado's totals in major categories as of 4 p.m. yesterday, August 30. We've juxtaposed them with information compiled on August 23, a week earlier.

57,223 cases (55,143 cases on August 23)
7,010 hospitalized (6,841 hospitalized on August 23)
63 counties (same as on August 23)
1,944 deaths among cases (1,918 deaths among cases on August 23)
1,843 deaths due to COVID-19 (1,815 deaths due to COVID-19 on August 23)
604 outbreaks (571 outbreaks on August 23)

While the death rate has slowed, people are still losing their lives because of the novel coronavirus. The 28 deaths over the past week represent an average of four per day.

The rate of new cases reported each day is similar to that of the week before, outlined in our August 24 report. On August 29, the most recent date for which stats are available, there were 176 new positive cases reported — less than half of the state's highwater mark of 393, registered on August 20. Here are the cases reported each day:

August 29 — 176
August 28 — 251
August 27 — 388
August 26 — 348
August 25 — 236
August 24 — 297
August 23 — 180
August 22 — 265
August 21 — 297
August 20 — 393 

Averaged over the week, there were 268 positive cases reported each day.

Hospitalizations because of COVID-19 have also been fairly stable. Here are new admission stats, sorted by day and seven-day average:

August 29, 2020
18 patients admitted to the hospital
19 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 28, 2020
18 patients admitted to the hospital
17 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 27, 2020
14 patients admitted to the hospital
21 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 26, 2020
24 patients admitted to the hospital
23 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 25, 2020
23 patients admitted to the hospital
22 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 24, 2020
5 patients admitted to the hospital
20 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 23, 2020
29 patients admitted to the hospital
22 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 22, 2020
8 patients admitted to the hospital
20 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 21, 2020
44 patients admitted to the hospital
21 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 20, 2020
30 patients admitted to the hospital
17 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

Here are the stats for patients currently hospitalized for COVID-19.

August 30, 2020
240 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
140 (58.33 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
100 (41.67 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 29, 2020
239 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
140 (58.58 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
99 (41.42 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 28, 2020
225 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
134 (59.56 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
91 (40.44 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 27, 2020
213 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
131 (61.50 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
82 (38.50 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 26, 2020
253 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
146 (57.71 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
107 (42.29 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 25, 2020
243 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
137 (56.38 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
106 (43.62 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 24, 2020
243 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
143 (58.85 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
100 (41.15 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 23, 2020
225 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
157 (69.78 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
68 (30.22 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 22, 2020
258 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
148 (57.36 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
110 (42.64 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 21, 2020
236 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
156 (66.10 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
80 (33.90 percent) Persons Under Investigation

Currently, the big concern is the increase in cases and hospitalizations related to the return of many students to in-classroom instruction.

Most institutions offering this option have gotten under way over the past week or two, and since there's often a two-week lag time between infection and symptoms, the impact of a return to school isn't reflected in the latest CDPHE stats. But the number of facilities impacted has certainly been growing.

In our August 24 report, we cited seven elementary, secondary or post-secondary schools that had reported infections. By the morning of August 28, the list offered by CBS4 had grown to 23. Many of the resulting quarantines have been fairly small — a single classroom at Soaring Eagles Elementary School in Colorado Springs, a handful of students and staffers at the same city's Ranch Creek Elementary School. But others have been more sweeping, with Hodgkins Leadership Academy in Westminster leading the pack with 109 students and six staffers under quarantine.

The CDPHE's update a week from today will give us a much better indication if these early warnings are minor or major.

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