Some COVID numbers better in Colorado, but not in the right places or to the right levels

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DENVER (KDVR) — Case numbers have ticked slightly downwards in the days since 20 counties moved to Level Red restrictions, but Coloradans should prepare to hunker down till numbers reach their pre-spike averages.

The average number of new cases reported to the state has trended downward since Nov. 18. At that point 5,000 new cases were reported daily on a seven-day average. As of Nov. 23, there are 400 fewer per day.

The rolling 3-day average has gone down from 5,635 per day on Nov. 20 to 3,534 three days later. These averages may change with additional cases as they’re reported, but the downward trend is clear.

However, this does not bring numbers even close to what they were before the fall surge.

Case numbers since the first stay-at-home order have stayed fairly consistent. From May to September as the state came out of lockdown, it averaged 366 new daily cases.

Cases surged starting Oct. 1. Through October and November, daily cases were around 2,300 per day, over six times the summer average.

Deaths among COVID-19 patients follow a similar trend.

The average deaths during the initial pandemic months were 21 per day, then dropped to seven per day during the summer months following the state’s reopening.

The average daily deaths among COVID-19 patients has doubled in October – November to 13 per day.

Since mid-November, though, deaths among cases have improved. At its height on Nov. 11, the 3- and 7-day deaths averages were 32 and 27, respectively. By Nov. 23, these averages plummeted to nine and four, mostly matching the pre-spike averages.

Where the state and health officials have a true concern, however, are the worst set of statistics: hospital admissions and COVID-19 patients. These numbers continue to worsen, unlike case and death totals.

The average number of daily admitted COVID-19 patients and the overall number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have never been higher. Numbers have flattened in the last week, but have not seen a downward slope.

State and health officials combine these data when considering restrictions. As good as signs may be concerning deaths and cases, their relative height to summer months and ballooning hospital data may mean Colorado has a holiday season of restrictions ahead.

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