Colorado COVID-19 hospital admissions fall even as virus remains widespread – Boulder Daily Camera

The chances of encountering someone with COVID-19 in Colorado remain high, but the state is showing early signs that the tide could be turning.

Hospitalizations, the percentage of tests that come back positive and cases all fell in the week ended Sunday. While the number of contagious people in the state remains high, this wave may have peaked, said Beth Carlton, associate professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Colorado School of Public Health.

“The numbers are much more encouraging this week,” she said.

Colorado could have a relatively quiet summer, with the recent wave of infections providing some protection for the next few months, Carlton said. Or the pause could be brief as variants BA.4 and BA.5 become dominant. Much is still unknown about how well infection with BA.2.12.1, currently the most common variant in Colorado, protects against the two Ascendant variants, she said.

“In general, people with newer infections are better protected,” she said. “We’ve probably eloped through most of Colorado’s vulnerable population in the last few months.”

The latest data from June 5 shows that BA.4 and BA.5 were found in nearly 35% of virus samples sequenced in Colorado. BA.2.12.1 was found in just over half.

How much of a role vaccinating children under the age of 5 will play in reducing the number of people susceptible is unclear, Carlton said.

Hospital admissions for COVID-19 fell to 304 Tuesday from 323 a week earlier, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It was the first time since mid-April that the number of people being treated for COVID-19 has fallen.

The percentage of positive tests also dropped to about 11.2%. That’s down from about 12.7% two weeks ago, but still high enough to suggest a large number of infections could go undetected.

Cases fell for the first time since late March, although those numbers remain the shakiest indicator because so many people don’t report their home tests, Carlton said. The state reported 12,820 cases in the week ended Sunday, down 23% from the previous week but still about six times the level at the bottom earlier this spring.

Outbreaks were the outlier, rising to 575 for an eighth week. Most of the increase came from correctional facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Leave a Comment