Colorado COVID rates sync with national numbers for the 1st time


FILE – A student at Holtet high school receives the first dose of Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 in the school’s auditorium in Oslo, Sept. 7, 2021. Authorities in Norway said on Thursday, Dec. 2 at least 50 people in Oslo have been infected with the omicron coronavirus variant. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said the cases are connected to a company’s Christmas party in a restaurant in the capital. (Heiko Junge/NTB via AP, file)

DENVER (KDVR) — The omicron variant’s transmissibility is creating some new trends.

Nationally and locally, COVID case rates have spiked to record levels. In Colorado, the average number of new daily cases is the highest in pandemic history — 30% higher than the peak of the 2020 fall wave.

Officials estimate the majority of new U.S. cases are now of the omicron variant, which early data suggests is more contagious but less severe than previous coronavirus strains. In Colorado, 91% of variants identified were omicron in the week ending Dec. 19.

The quickness of the spread has synchronized Colorado and U.S. cases.

In the past, Colorado’s cases have run ahead or behind national COVID trends. Colorado’s cases during the fall wave of 2020 peaked nearly two months before the U.S. rates caught up. Colorado’s cases were also off the national trend when they rose in the fall last year.

The omicron wave is different. Cases have quadrupled in Colorado since Dec. 16. National rates have gone up at the same rate in the same time frame.

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