DENVER (KDVR)– While COVID cases and hospitalizations fluctuate in the early summer months in an unstable plateau, one metric has been rising for two consistent weeks.

According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the state’s positivity rate, or the number of COVID tests that are coming back positive, was 12.97% as of July 5. The metric has been on the rise since June 24, when it sat at 11%.

The state does not factor in at-home tests when it calculates cases and positivity rates because the data wouldn’t be consistent, assuming people who test negative would be less likely to submit those results to the state.

Courtesy: CDPHE

Epidemiologists usually look at the positivity rate as a key indicator to forecast if waves of cases or hospitalizations may come and go.

The consistent surge in the positivity rate in Colorado is happening as the more transmissible BA.5 subvariant of omicron becomes dominant across the country, and holds a near-majority stake of the variants in Colorado.