A month after transition to ‘Safer at Home’ phase, COVID-19 cases steadily declining in Colorado

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — More than a month after Colorado switched from a “Stay at Home” order to “Safer at Home,” there has not been a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows the three-day average of cases, based on the reporting date, has steadily decreased since April 25.

“They’re continuing to trend downward and that’s really encouraging,” said Dr. Beth Carlton, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, who’s also on the state’s coronavirus modeling team.

“It hasn’t been this kind of snap reopen as soon as we transitioned to Safer at Home,” Carlton said. “Instead, it’s been this slow, gradual ratcheting reopen of different businesses over time.”

Consequently, Colorado currently has 277 people in the hospital with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. Plus, less than 1/3 of the state’s intensive care unit beds are occupied.

Meanwhile, in Utah, the rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive has more than doubled since Memorial Day. And in Arizona, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are spiking. More than 75 percent of that state’s ICU beds are now occupied.

“I worry about a lot of things,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday. “I worry about Arizona and Utah. I worry about Coloradans maintaining their vigilance with masks and social distancing. And I worry about people in the streets.”

That includes the thousands of people who’ve been protesting in downtown Denver for two weeks.

It’s too early to tell if they’ll create a spike in COVID-19 cases. But beginning last weekend, the city urged them to take advantage of free testing at the Pepsi Center.

From Friday to Sunday, more than 2,300 people were swabbed at the drive-through testing site. This included some people who protested, but there’s no way to identify how many. So far, two percent of the city’s COVID-19 tests have come back positive.

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