Why is Colorado’s COVID rate increasing while other states are seeing rates drop?

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s COVID-19 positivity rate is now nearing 10%, a number local doctors say is a disappointment.

“We were hoping at this point we ‘d be like the rest of the United States and down trending, but obviously not the case,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, the Senior Medical Director of Infection Prevention at UCHealth. 

Barron told FOX31 the timing and trajectory of cases in Colorado is different from other states, which saw their surge earlier than Colorado, possibly due to Colorado’s vaccination rate. Plus, other states saw a dramatic spike, while Colorado’s increase has been slower and steadier.

“If you look at states that had their big surges earlier this fall, late summer, they really went quickly. They went from a few cases to cases in the thousands. Colorado has never been on that sort of slope. We’ve never had thousands of cases in one day and that probably has to do with our vaccination rates,” Barron said.

So, Colorado’s surge came later, and it’s taking longer to reach the peak. But there are plenty of other factors at play.

“I know it’s very confusing for everybody out there. We want it to be black and white. Unfortunately, it’s messy. It’s very gray,” said Dr. Scott Joy, the Chief Medical Officer of HealthONE Physician Services Group in Denver. 

“It’s so complex with the travel, and the different patterns of behavior that are going on,” Joy said. “When it gets cold out, you’re going to be a little bit closer, so you start to violate that ”W” of watching your distance.”

Joy said he wants to emphasize that vaccination is the way out of this pandemic.

“Over 3 million Coloradans have gotten the vaccine, roughly 2.4 million still have not, and I think that this virus is relentless,” Joy said.

Now that immunity is waning for some Coloradans, doctors say it is very important to get booster shots and continue to take precautions.

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