Coronavirus

Sad New Colorado COVID Hospitalization Record for 2021

Outside St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo.
Outside St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo. Google Maps
On Halloween, Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued, amended or extended five new public-health orders related to COVID-19 in the state, including updated rules regarding patient transfers and a near-ban on cosmetic surgery — indications that the fight against the virus has entered a get-tougher phase.

There's more worrisome evidence in the latest CDPHE data. On November 1, the number of patients hospitalized for COVID hit 1,326, the most since 1,336 on December 23, 2020.

Here are the most recent CDPHE figures in major categories, updated after 4 p.m. on November 1; they're juxtaposed with our previous COVID-19 survey, which tracked information from October 25.

747,855 cases (up 20,221 from October 25)
21,030 variants of concern (up 1,512 from October 25)
64 counties (unchanged since October 25)
42,535 hospitalized (up 959 from October 25)
8,258 deaths among cases (up 172 from October 25)
8,554 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 191 from October 25)
6,477 outbreaks (up 91 from October 25)

Four takeaways:

• New cases are up by more than a third in two weeks. On October 18, the weekly increase was 15,009; on November 1, the total hit 20,221.

• In contrast, the pace of new hospitalizations has slowed after several fierce spikes. The jump for the week ending November 1 was 959, a significant improvement from the 1,342 on October 25.

• COVID deaths have dipped, too, but they remain at a very high level — another 191 owing to the disease as of November 1, compared to 243 for the week ending October 25. But new variants of concern have tripled over that period, going from 500 last week to 1,512 as of November 1.

• Outbreaks have risen, as well — 91 new sites on November 1, up from 73 on October 25.

Over the ten-day period between October 15 and October 24, the state saw its daily case count exceed 3,000 for the first time in months. From October 22 through October 31, the situation worsened: The 3,475 cases reported on October 27 were the most on a single day since 3,628 on December 16, 2020.

Here are the details:

October 31 — 1,438 Cases
October 30 — 2,248 Cases
October 29 — 2,467 Cases
October 28 — 3,169 Cases
October 27 — 3,475 Cases
October 26 — 3,352 Cases
October 25 — 2,142 Cases
October 24 — 1,962 Cases
October 23 — 2,115 Cases
October 22 — 2,707 Cases

At least the state's positivity rate slipped from 10.76 percent on October 25 to 9.74 percent on November 1 — but it's still well above the 5 percent mark that public-health officials identify as a warning sign that not enough testing is being done. Meanwhile, the Delta variant continues to rule; it was tied to every disease sample sequenced by the CDPHE for the week of October 10.

Daily hospital admissions hovered close to the 200 mark on several recent weekdays; total hospitalizations are at or near their 2021 high points, with intensive-care-unit availability still a big problem: On October 29, just 117 ICU beds were open in the entire state. That number improved to 148 as of November 1, likely because of strategies encompassed in the previously mentioned new public-health orders.

Here's the data for new hospital admissions and total hospitalizations over the previous ten days:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

November 1, 2021
197 patients admitted to the hospital
134 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 31, 2021
33 patients admitted to the hospital
133 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 30, 2021
30 patients admitted to the hospital
138 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 29, 2021
191 patients admitted to the hospital
144 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 28, 2021
142 patients admitted to the hospital
138 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 27, 2021
193 patients admitted to the hospital
149 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 26, 2021
153 patients admitted to the hospital
151 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 25, 2021
192 patients admitted to the hospital
154 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 24, 2021
68 patients admitted to the hospital
142 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

October 23, 2021
67 patients admitted to the hospital
139 seven-day average patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

November 1, 2021
1,326 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,236 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 31, 2021
1,281 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,197 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
84 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 30, 2021
1,278 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,188 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 29, 2021
1,279 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,184 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
95 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 28, 2021
1,245 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,167 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
78 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 27, 2021
1,287 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,191 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
96 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 26, 2021
1,277 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,187 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 25, 2021
1,242 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,170 (94 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
72 (6 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 24, 2021
1,198 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,108 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
90 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

October 23, 2021
1,184 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
1,095 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
89 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

Colorado's vaccine data dashboard shows an improving rate of Pfizer and Moderna immunizations, but that's mainly because of already inoculated folks getting booster shots. The pace of fully immunized people actually slowed from 23,201 on October 24 to 19,981 on November 1. Here's the latest rundown:

3,569,960 people fully immunized in Colorado (up 19,981 from October 24)
3,881,150 people immunized with at least one dose (up 24,239 from October 24)
1,766 people vaccinated on October 31 with Pfizer vaccine (up 64 from October 24); 7,511 immunizations with Pfizer vaccine reported October 31 but administered on an earlier date (down 1,961 from October 24)
2,029 people immunized on October 31 with Moderna vaccine (up 191 from October 24); 11,120 immunizations with Moderna vaccine reported October 31 but administered on an earlier date (up 5,973 from October 24)
134 people vaccinated on October 31 with Janssen (J&J) vaccine (up 15 from October 24); 244 immunizations with Janssen vaccine reported October 31 but administered on an earlier date (down 33 from October 24)

Polis has been saying for months that vaccinations represent Colorado's road out of the COVID-19 crisis. But that route has proven to be longer and more winding than anyone could have hoped.
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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