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DENVER (KDVR) — COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and other key metrics are dropping in Colorado as the state increases its effort to get more people booster shots and vaccinate children ages 5 to 11.

As of Thursday afternoon, there are 1,227 patients hospitalized in Colorado with COVID-19. According to state data, 86% of those cases are among the unvaccinated.

Leaders with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provided an update on the state’s effort on Thursday. According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy, COVID-19 Incident Commander Scott Bookman, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric France and Data Manager Ottavio Pirocchi, scientists are discovering the omicron variant is easier to transmit from person to person.

Health experts are also seeing increased re-infection and breakthrough infections driven by the omicron variant. However, they emphasize that COVID vaccines will help guard against severe cases, and the protection goes up even more with a booster shot.

To date, Colorado has identified five cases of the omicron variant. Scientists are keeping an eye on wastewater, as well, confirming they have detected the variant in wastewater, specifically in Boulder, Aurora, Commerce City, and in a system that’s shared between Lakewood and Denver.

You can watch the update from CDPHE in its entirety on FOX31 NOW.