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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s hospital admissions have spiked, bruising the hope that the omicron variant of COVID-19 wouldn’t crowd healthcare facilities.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned yesterday that even though the omicron variant is less serious than the delta variant that appeared last summer, hospital admissions could swell. Though it has a lower hospitalization rate, the sheer number of people infected by the highly contagious strain could overwhelm hospitals, he said.

In Colorado, hospital numbers have indeed skyrocketed.

The 7-day average of people admitted to Colorado hospitals with COVID doubled in just days following Christmas. Since the beginning of 2022, hospital admissions have hovered around 220 people per day – the highest since last November’s wave and the 2020 fall wave before that.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID has not risen by as much in the same time period, but it has risen from 1,075 patients to 1,235.

This follows the highest case counts in pandemic history. On Jan. 2, the 7-day average new case count was 7,282, which is 2,000 more people per day than the next-highest record set on Nov. 22, 2020.