Coronavirus

Delta Variant and Vaccination Rates in Colorado's Trump Counties

Former President Donald Trump during a 2016 Denver campaign appearance.
Former President Donald Trump during a 2016 Denver campaign appearance. Photo by Brandon Marshall
New COVID-19 statistics from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that cases, hospitalizations and deaths linked to the disease are once again rising nationally, with the most serious increases happening in parts of the country with low vaccination rates.

In Colorado, counties with the worst vaccination rates, as well as those with the most safety issues related to the virus, have tended to correspond with those that supported former President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. And indeed, the two counties with by far the most confirmed cases of the more transmissible and dangerous Delta variant — Mesa and El Paso — are among the 38 that favored Trump over President Joe Biden. In both, fewer than 50 percent of eligible residents are fully immunized.

At last count, Mesa had 680 Delta variant cases, while El Paso followed with 321 — more than triple the total at the start of July. Mesa's full immunization rate is 43.2 percent; El Paso's is 47.9 percent.

Thus far, however, fifteen of the 38 pro-Trump counties in Colorado, have yet to register a single confirmed Delta variant case, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. One reason for this could be low populations and lots of space: Crowley County is an 800-square-mile expanse that had 5,754 inhabitants in 2019 — fewer than half the 12,000-plus estimated population of Denver's Five Points neighborhood. Just 17.9 percent of Crowley County's citizens are fully vaccinated — the worst rate in Colorado — but the county has not yet registered a Delta variant.

In many parts of the state, hospital beds are again filling up with COVID-19 patients. The CDPHE tracks hospital capacity in ten regions, and in five of them, the percentage of available beds is 20 percent or less. Here are the latest figures in that category:
West: 7 percent available
San Luis Valley: 12 percent available
Northeast: 15 percent available
Central Mountains: 18 percent available
Plains to Peak: 20 percent available
Mile High: 21 percent available
Northwest: 29 percent available
Foothills: 34 percent available
Southwest: 55 percent available
Southeast: 75 percent available
As for the pro-Trump counties, thirty of 38 have full-immunization rates of under 50 percent. Here they are, listed alphabetically with updated information about Delta variant cases and vaccination rates.

Alamosa
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 51.9 percent

Baca
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 36.7 percent

Bent
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 26.1 percent

Cheyenne
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 27.4 percent

Conejos
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 19
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 43.9 percent

Costilla
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 56.8 percent

Crowley
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 17.9 percent

Custer
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 42.8 percent

Delta
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 40.8 percent

Dolores
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 37.2 percent

Douglas
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 36
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 66.9 percent

El Paso
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 321
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 47.9 percent

Elbert
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 42.6 percent

Fremont
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 14
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 34.7 percent

Grand
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 57.5 percent

Hinsdale
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 57.5 percent

Jackson
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 39.5 percent

Kiowa
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 35.7 percent

Kit Carson
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 34.4 percent

Lincoln
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 32.2 percent

Logan
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 31.9 percent

Mesa
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 680
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 43.2 percent

Mineral
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 77.3 percent

Moffat
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 91
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 35.8 percent

Montezuma
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 8
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 47.4 percent

Montrose
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 15
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 42.5 percent

Morgan
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 41.9 percent

Otero
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 43.1 percent

Park
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 45 percent

Phillips
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 49.7 percent

Prowers
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 37.1 percent

Rio Blanco
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 14
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 32.7 percent

Rio Grande
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 53.1 percent

Sedgwick
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 46 percent

Teller
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 5
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 49.1 percent

Washington
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 1
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 28.5 percent

Weld
Delta variant detected?: Yes
Number of Delta variant cases: 21
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 51.2 percent

Yuma
Delta variant detected?: No
Number of Delta variant cases: 0
Percentage of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: 39.7 percent
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts