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COVID-19: Where Colorado Stands Before Possible Labor Day Spike
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COVID-19: Where Colorado Stands Before Possible Labor Day Spike

In light of COVID-19 spikes following Memorial Day and July 4 celebrations, Governor Jared Polis and other officials urged Coloradans to celebrate Labor Day responsibly. We probably won't know how many residents heeded this warning until mid-month or later, but current data related to the novel coronavirus shows the state maintaining a hard-won level of stability in cases and hospitalizations.

Even so, the number of Colorado schools that have instituted quarantine procedures of some type nearly doubled over the course of a week or so. Yet the lack of widespread closures appears to have inspired the Colorado High School Activities Association to at least think about moving ahead with some or all fall high school sports, many of which had been pushed to springtime.

Despite such optimism, COVID-19 continues to afflict people in this state. Here are updated numbers in several major categories as of 4 p.m. yesterday, September 7, supplemented with the August 30 figures from our previous roundup:

59,487 cases (up 2,264 since August 30)
7,142 hospitalized (up 132 since August 30)
63 counties (unchanged)
1,973 deaths among cases (up 29 since August 30)
1,866 deaths from COVID-19 (up 23 since August 30)
631 outbreaks (up 27 since August 30) 

The most optimistic-sounding stat: The positivity rate per 100,000 people currently stands at 1.78 percent, far below the 5 percent mark that officials identify as a bright line. That's the lowest positivity rate in Colorado since the pandemic began.

At the same time, however, case counts continue to vary widely from one day to the next, as you can see by this snapshot of daily digits over the most recent ten-day span:

September 6 — 208
September 5 — 249
September 4 — 260
September 3 — 367
September 2 — 275
September 1 — 226
August 31 — 366
August 30 — 183
August 29 — 214
August 28 — 307

As for hospitalizations because of COVID-19, admissions have seemingly steadied, as sorted by day and seven-day average:

September 6, 2020
15 patients admitted to the hospital
18 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

September 5, 2020
27 patients admitted to the hospital
18 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

September 4, 2020
14 patients admitted to the hospital
17 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

September 3, 2020
10 patients admitted to the hospital
18 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

September 2, 2020
15 patients admitted to the hospital
19 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

September 1, 2020
27 patients admitted to the hospital
21 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

August 31, 2020
18 patients admitted to the hospital
21 patients admitted to the hospital (seven-day average)

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

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

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

Still, the total number of people hospitalized because of positive or probable COVID-19 diagnoses has remained at more than 200 statewide since late August:

September 7, 2020

237 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
139 (58.65 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
98 (41.35 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 6, 2020

227 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
146 (64.32 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
81 (35.68 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 5, 2020

220 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
139 (63.18 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
81 (36.82 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 4, 2020

219 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
132 (60.27 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
87 (39.73 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 3, 2020

211 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
136 (64.45 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
75 (35.55 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 2, 2020

247 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
145 (58.70 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
102 (41.30 percent) Persons Under Investigation

September 1, 2020

236 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
144 (61.02 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
92 (38.98 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 31, 2020

241 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
148 (61.41 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
93 (38.59 percent) Persons Under Investigation

August 30, 2020

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

Thus far, the return of many students to in-classroom instruction hasn't caused a big bump in cases — but quarantines are definitely escalating. In our August 24 report, we cited seven elementary, secondary or post-secondary schools that had reported infections. By the morning of August 28, that number had grown to 23. Cut to September 3, when CBS4's running list of quarantines hit forty: 22 elementary schools, eight middle schools, seven high schools (including Littleton's Heritage High, where at least five staffers and sixty students are quarantining) and three colleges.

Nonetheless, CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green issued a statement at 5:01 p.m. on September 7 about the "reconsideration of the 2020-21 sport calendar." In recent weeks, she noted, "we have seen reconsideration at the Association, school district and conference level regarding the resuming fall sports, especially football. We also hear those who are advocating for a reconsideration of the 2020-21 sport calendar. We continue to work collaboratively with our state, health and educational officials. We're monitoring information from other states to see if it's applicable to reconsiderations in Colorado."

Blanford-Green added: "Over the course of the past week, this has prompted conversations at the state level to see if some outdoor fall sports could resume under the state safety guidelines, including variances that would be needed to make this happen. We appreciate their willingness to keep the dialogue open. Our office will continue to provide further updates if any changes occur with the 2020-21 activities calendar."

Future COVID-19 counts will either fuel such reconsiderations or wipe them off the calendar altogether.

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