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WTF? Colorado COVID-19 Data Still Getting Worse

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Recent days have brought news of positive developments in the fight against COVID-19 across the country, with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting a 0.4 percent dip in new cases nationwide for the first time in five weeks, and a death decrease of 3 percent. But Colorado is currently bucking this trend.

The latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows increases in every major metric regarding the virus save hospitalizations — and a closer look at that category reveals daily spikes in new admissions and total patients that hit the highest marks since January.

Here are the most recent statewide figures from the CDPHE, refreshed after 4 p.m. yesterday, April 25. We've juxtaposed them with information from April 18, highlighted in our last COVID-19 roundup:

502,242 cases (up 11,953 from April 18)
3,221 variants of concern (up 1,170 from April 18)
108 variants under investigation (46 from April 18)
27,373 hospitalized (up 537 from April 18)
64 counties (unchanged from April 18)
6,251 deaths among cases (up 52 from April 18)
6,384 deaths due to COVID-19 (up 54 from April 18)
4,784 outbreaks (up 164 from April 18)

Four major takeaways:

• The 11,953 case rise on April 25 is up from 11,611 on April 18 — a small jump at a time when some of the hardest-hit states are finally seeing declines. Colorado has now exceeded the half-million case point — a head-spinning threshold.

• New hospitalizations were down over the same period by a small amount — from 562 on April 18 to 537 on April 25.

• New outbreak increases had been in the double-digit range for months before reaching 138 on April 11, then rising to 154 on April 18 and 164 on April 25. The next outbreaks report will be released on Wednesday.

• The most important figure — deaths attributed to COVID-19 — had been headed in the right direction in Colorado, going from 43 on April 11 to 34 on April 18. But April 25 saw a significant bump, to 54.

Variants — which, according to the CDPHE, "spread easier, cause more severe disease, reduce the effectiveness of treatments or vaccine, or [are] harder to detect using current tests" — now represent the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the state. Those surged from 2,051 on April 18 to 3,221 on April 25, a difference of more than 44 percent in just seven days. And the hike in cases of variants under investigation, from 62 on April 18 to 108 on April 25, was even greater.

Moreover, the department acknowledges that these numbers "are based on a small sampling of positive COVID-19 tests and do not represent the total number of variant cases that may be circulating in Colorado."

The overall number of daily COVID-19 cases reported is on the rise; over the past ten days, only April 18 saw fewer than 1,000 new cases — and it was a Sunday, when reporting is typically delayed. On April 21, 2,310 new cases were reported — the most on a single day since the 2,363 registered on January 13. Here's the rundown.

April 24 — 1,318 Cases
April 23 — 1,592 Cases
April 22 — 1,760 Cases
April 21 — 2,310 Cases
April 20 — 1,562 Cases
April 19 — 1,616 Cases
April 18 — 839 Cases
April 17 — 1,359 Cases
April 16 — 1,488 Cases
April 15 — 1,946 Cases

Colorado's positivity rate, described 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," is down slightly, from 6.63 percent on April 18 to 6.33 percent on April 25. But it's still over the 5 percent level that officials target, indicating that too few people are getting tested, raising the prospect of community spread that could spur another infection wave.

The hospitalization stats are generally stable, but there are some noteworthy exceptions. The 112 patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms on April 20 is the highest number since the 154 who checked in on January 26. And yesterday's total patient amount of 621 hasn't been exceeded since January 30, when 648 people were receiving care at a medical facility. Here are the figures in both categories over the previous ten days:

New Hospital Admissions by Admission Date

April 25, 2021
68 patients admitted to the hospital
81 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 24, 2021
77 patients admitted to the hospital
76 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 23, 2021
107 patients admitted to the hospital
75 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 22, 2021
76 patients admitted to the hospital
73 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 21, 2021
66 patients admitted to the hospital
75 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 20, 2021
112 patients admitted to the hospital
80 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 19, 2021
59 patients admitted to the hospital
76 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 18, 2021
33 patients admitted to the hospital
77 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

April 17, 2021
73 patients admitted to the hospital
83 seven-day average of patients admitted to the hospital

Patients Currently Hospitalized for COVID-19

April 25, 2021
621 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
570 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
51 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 24, 2021
608 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
563 (93 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
45 (7 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 23, 2021
627 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
573 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
54 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 22, 2021
599 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
551 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
48 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 21, 2021
613 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
561 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
52 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 20, 2021
614 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
553 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
61 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 19, 2021
568 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
510 (90 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
58 (10 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 18, 2021
552 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
509 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
43 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 17, 2021
564 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
520 (92 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
44 (8 percent) Persons Under Investigation

April 16, 2021
551 Total COVID Patients (Confirmed & Suspected/PUI)
500 (91 percent) Confirmed COVID-19
51 (9 percent) Persons Under Investigation

Throughout much of the pandemic, Colorado has scored better than the national average — but not today.

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