COVID in Colorado: self-reporting a diagnosis, child hospitalizations rising with respiratory illnesses

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — COVID-19 cases and positivity rates are back up in Colorado, and health officials are monitoring intensive care unit capacity as the state sees more child respiratory hospitalizations than normal.

Health leaders said the hospitalizations among children are not only related to COVID but also from other respiratory illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus, known commonly as RSV.

That’s a trend being seen around the country right now. State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy warned we may see more cases of respiratory viruses in children between influenza, RSV and COVID-19 come the fall.

Now, health officials are starting to investigate intensive care unit capacity at hospitals.

“With RSV going up, COVID cases, and other respiratory illnesses, there are more children in ICU beds than we would normally see in August, and we believe it’s important that the state for us to understand the capacity limits as we go forward for the fall,” said Dr. Eric France, the state health department’s chief medical officer.

Colorado COVID-19 positivity rate jumps, booster shots coming

Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate jumped to 6.4% this week.

“It would appear that most of what we’re seeing right now in the literature suggesting the increases we are seeing here in Colorado and across the country are probably primarily due to increased hospitalizations that are probably due to increased transmissibility,” Herlihy said. “There’s really not a ton of data right now to suggest hospital rates are higher among children or not.”

As for the big news about booster shots this week, leaders said if all goes well, Colorado should be prepared for the extra shots come Sept. 20.

They said the new recommendations for booster shots of the Moderna of Pfizer vaccines are already being implemented for immunocompromised people who are just beginning their vaccination process.

Coloradans can now self-report a COVID-19 diagnosis

State officials also announced that Coloradans can use the COVID-19 exposure notification system to self-report a positive diagnosis.

CDPHE Senior Solution Architect Casey Carlson said Colorado is the first state to roll out the new feature.

Before, people who reported a positive test to the app had to receive a code before the app would send an anonymous exposure notification to other phones that had been nearby.

The update allows users of the exposure notification system app to share their test results without the code. It will also allow users to report results from at-home tests.

CDPHE said there are controls built in to prevent users from inaccurately inactivating an exposure notification.

You can re-watch the press conference on FOX31 NOW in the player below.

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