DENVER (KDVR) — According to an updated modeling report released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado School of Public Health, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are rapidly increasing across the state.
Experts say Colorado will likely surpass April’s highest peak in hospitalizations within two weeks. Intensive care unit (ICU) capacity could be exceeded by January or sooner if the epidemic curve is not bent, according to experts.
According to state data, 633 people are currently hospitalized with confirmed COVID cases — an increase of 205 compared to one week ago. An additional 118 people are hospitalized with suspected COVID cases.
About 82% of ICU beds are in use. However, not all are occupied by COVID patients.
UCHealth, which operates some of the largest hospitals along the Front Range, says it is seeing a steady rise in COVID patients. The hospital system said it currently has slightly more than half the number of COVID patients as it did during the peak in April.
According to state modeling, one in every 219 Coloradans is currently infectious.
The number of COVID deaths has risen slightly over the past few weeks, but not at the same rate as overall cases and hospitalizations. However, a rise in deaths often lags behind a spike in cases.
As of Friday, 10 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in Colorado.
Significant testing is taking place, with 27,177 people tested within a 24-hour period as of Friday — the third-most people tested in one day since the start of the pandemic.
The seven-day average positivity rate is 7.5%. Public health officials say it needs to be under 5% to get the pandemic under control and avoid new restrictions.
Colorado hadn’t seen a 7.5% positivity rate since May 25. The highest positivity rate ever in the state was on April 19, at 22%. However, testing was not as widespread at that time.
On Friday, 2,171 positive cases were reported — the most ever in a single day in Colorado.
The most significant growth in cases is taking place along the Front Range and Mesa County.