1 year of COVID: Deadly December but one of the lowest national death rates


DENVER (KDVR) — Any untimely death is one too many, and there have been a half a million such deaths in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic began on year ago. Thankfully, Colorado managed to avoid the kind of death totals and deaths rates seen nationally over the last year.

To date, 5,951 Coloradans have died as COVID-19 patients, the 24th highest total. Given Colorado’s population, death has hit the Centennial State more softly than most. Colorado currently has the tenth-lowest death rate in the United States.

In Colorado, 102 COVID-19 deaths occurred for every 100,000 people. Only Utah, Washington, Virginia, New Hampshire, Marine, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont have lower COVID death rates.

Contrast with New Jersey, which has a cumulative death rate 250% higher than Colorado’s.

Compared to other U.S. states, Colorado spent a longer amount of time at a low death rate for most of the pandemic. When cases spiked last fall, the death rate shot past the national average, though, and Colorado saw its deadliest days in December 2020. December saw four days with more than 100 COVID deaths each.

It is this fall spike in cases that ushered in new restrictions and more deaths.

Though the pandemic has been killing for a year, the majority of Colorado’s COVID-19 deaths happened in a short amount of time in late 2020.

Of the 5,951 COVID-19 deaths in the state, 60% happened only between Oct. 26, 2020 and Jan. 26, 2021.

Of the 12 months since COVID-19 was first recorded in Colorado, December 2020 claimed 28% of the lives lost.

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