DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado COVID-19 cases have plateaued following a steady decline that lasted several months.
New cases reported have remained relatively steady since mid-February. Dr. Lisa Miller, a professor of Epidemiology with the Colorado School of Public Health, said the plateau could be caused in part by variant strains of the virus, as well as changes in behavior.
“People are tired and are fatigued of these measures that have been in place. The social distancing and the masking,” said Miller.
She said the current trends are frustrating but not a reason to panic. Meanwhile, other countries are in a much worse position.
In France, a three-week nationwide school closure is in place and a month-long domestic travel plan in response to the rapid spread of the virus placing increased pressure on hospitals in the country.
“We’re obviously not there. We have ample hospital capacity and our frustration is that we are stubbornly seeing relatively high levels of cases compared to where we were in the summer,” said Miller.
The Colorado School of Public Health regularly releases projections for COVID-19 trends based on current data. In the most recent report, released Mar. 10, projections showed Colorado’s active COVID-19 cases could reach the “summer low” of 85 per 100,000 people by Apr. 23. That estimate assumed continued vaccine distribution and no further growth of the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus.
“They are really using all that information to try to understand where this might go,” said Miller.
In the meantime, she reminded Coloradans of the importance of following public health orders regarding masks and physical distancing, even as vaccinations ramp up.
“Do something to help us get off this plateau that we’re on and recognize that we’re not out of the woods yet. It’s not any reason to panic but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Miller.