4

Why Colorado Is Doing Better Fighting COVID-19 Than Most States

Why Colorado Is Doing Better Fighting COVID-19 Than Most States
Fox31 via YouTube file photo
^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Governor Jared Polis and other Colorado officials have acknowledged that the state saw a rise in COVID-19 cases following the holidays. But more than two weeks after New Year's Eve, it's clear from just-updated data that the bump was modest and already appears to be receding, even as infections in many other places around the country continue to accelerate at a tragic pace.

Why is Colorado doing better than many states? This subject will busy researchers for years to come — but one possible factor is the high level of education, which suggests that a significant percentage of the population understands that science is real and is choosing to act accordingly rather than eschewing recommended safety protocols to prevent the disease from spreading.

Here are fresh COVID-19 stats in major categories, updated at 4:30 p.m. on January 17; they're with the January 10 figures from our previous COVID-19 weekly numbers roundup:

374,981 cases (up 13,833 from January 10)
20,687 hospitalized (up 702 from January 10)
64 counties (unchanged since January 10)
5,379 deaths among cases  (up 171 from January 10)
4,502 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 395 from January 10)
3,286 outbreaks (up 107 from January 10)

Four major takeaways:

• The pace of Colorado's new cases, which had quickened in recent weeks, has dipped again. The average hike from December 13 through January 4 was 17,686 a week, and that jumped to 19,898 on January 10. But over the past seven days, just 13,833 new cases were counted.
• The same downward trajectory is being seen in hospitalizations. The average count between December 13 and January 4 was 862 a week, with a one-week leap in the days leading to January 10 of 1,272.
But over the last week, just 702 more people were hospitalized, down by over 100 from the average of a month ago.
• Deaths directly attributable to COVID-19 are up substantially, however — from 200 for the week ending January 10 to 395 on January 17. But fatalities are a lagging statistic, so the numbers likely correspond to the previous spike; the curve should bend down soon if current trends hold.
• Outbreaks are finally going in the right direction. After months of more than 200 new entries each week, the weekly average from December 13 to January 4 was 146, and the weekly additions tumbled to 126 on January 10. The latest figure is even lower: 107.

Here are the number of new COVID-19 cases reported to the state over the past ten-day period — a mixed but improving bag.

January 16, 2021 — 1,343 Cases
January 15, 2021 — 1,946 Cases
January 14, 2021 — 2,046 Cases
January 13, 2021 — 2,277 Cases
January 12, 2021 — 2,352 Cases
January 11, 2021 — 1,468 Cases
January 10, 2021 — 1,630 Cases
January 9, 2021 — 2,143 Cases
January 8, 2021 — 2,846 Cases
January 7, 2021 — 3,132 Cases

There's improving news, too, in Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate, defined by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins as "the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, or: (positive tests)/(total tests) x 100 percent." The seven-day positivity rate for the state for January 10 was 7.80 percent, compared to 7.67 percent on January 4 — but by January 10, it had slid to 5.10 percent. Moreover, outpatient syndromic COVID visits remained static for the third consecutive week at 4.42 percent.

The latest hospitalization numbers are very similar to those of last week, and so are daily admissions. Here are those figures:

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

January 17, 2021
879 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
796 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
83 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 16, 2021
911 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
806 (88 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
105 (12 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 15, 2021
891 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
818 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
73 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 14, 2021
903 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
822 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
81 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 13, 2021
886 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
814 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
72 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 12, 2021
930 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
832 (89 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
98 (11 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 11, 2021
914 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
833 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
81 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 10, 2021
873 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
801 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
72 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 9, 2021
886 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
817 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
69 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

January 8, 2021
915 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
833 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
82 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

January 17, 2021
86 patients admitted to the hospital
110 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 16, 2021
85 patients admitted to the hospital
111 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 15, 2021
101 patients admitted to the hospital
117 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 14, 2021
113 patients admitted to the hospital
118 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 13, 2021
120 patients admitted to the hospital
117 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 12, 2021
111 patients admitted to the hospital
119 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 11, 2021
152 patients admitted to the hospital
124 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 10, 2021
94 patients admitted to the hospital
122 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 9, 2021
127 patients admitted to the hospital
123 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

January 8, 2021
111 patients admitted to the hospital
120 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

A 2020 study listed Colorado as the third-most-educated state in the country — a fact that hasn't escaped the attention of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. A page bearing the title "An Education System That's Second to None" begins: "As you may have noticed, Colorado continues to rank at the top of the nation’s Best of lists, and our student body is no exception. Ranked among the most educated states in the country, 38 percent of Coloradans have at least a bachelor’s degree, the second-highest college attainment rate in the country, and 14 percent hold a graduate or professional degree."

We won't be able to say definitively that states with higher education levels fared best against the novel coronavirus until the pandemic is over. In the meantime, let's hope stupidity isn't contagious.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.