COVID-19 hospitalizations, infections rise in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Health officials in Colorado have reported an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state while infections also suggest wider spread of the virus.

The state Department of Public Health and Environment said 450 people were hospitalized statewide as of Wednesday with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, The Denver Post reported  Thursday. The last time that many people were in the hospital because of COVID-19 was Feb. 19.

Larimer, Adams, Douglas and Pueblo counties saw an increase in hospitalizations while numbers in most parts of the state remained stable or slowly decreased. Hospitalizations in Pueblo increased 11 of the last 14 days.

Health officials have said the relatively steep increase can be a sign that vaccines have not yet chased the virus out of Colorado.

State data released Wednesday said there was an 8% increase of active coronavirus outbreaks in the past week, bringing numbers back to the same level last seen last month.

Outbreaks are two or more cases tied to the same locations or events. Four weeks must pass with no new cases before outbreaks are declared over.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia. Sometimes people with a coronavirus infection display no symptoms.

“We encourage Coloradans to get tested if they exhibit symptoms or suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19. Testing allows the state to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and helps us mitigate outbreaks and increased disease transmission,” said Jessica Bralish, spokesperson for the state health department.

Jefferson, Summit and Pitkin counties have increased safety restrictions as a result of rising case counts.

“Unfortunately we are slipping in the wrong direction, and we have seen an increase in the COVID-19 case incidence rate, test positivity rate and hospitalizations,” Jefferson County Public Health Executive Director Dawn Comstock said. “None of us want to go backwards on the dial after all of the hard work we’ve put in and sacrifices we’ve made.”

More than 3 million people, or 18% of the state population, have completed their vaccinations as of Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 35% of the state population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine.

 

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