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DENVER (KDVR) — Omicron is putting more and more Coloradans into hospitals, but data says they aren’t staying as long as with previous strains of COVID-19.

Early data says the omicron variant is both more contagious and less severe than its delta or original counterparts. Hospital figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment agree, though they could also simply reflect a lag in data.

The number of daily admissions to Colorado’s hospitals has doubled since Dec. 21. The overall number of hospitalized patients, though, has only gone up 20% in the same time. The suggests patients are not facing the kind of severe illness they were before.

In the past, the number of hospital admissions and hospital caseloads rose and fell largely in lockstep with each other.

Healthcare leaders including Dr. Anthony Fauci have nonetheless continued to warn the country of another hospital overcrowding crisis. Locally, hospital leaders and elected officials have insisted that the new variant could easily overwhelm the state’s healthcare system. Hospitals in the Centennial State were already strained from the previous wave of COVID infections last fall, which prompted worker burnout and resignation.