DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado reported its biggest one-day jump in COVID-19 cases and deaths Thursday because of data that was collected days and weeks ago and just reported to the state, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
CDPHE reported 547 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 33 news deaths because of it. The department immediately tweeted the following explanation for the high numbers:
“It’s a reflection of the realities of our federated system of public health testing and reporting of diseases and vital statistics,” said Dr. Glen Mays, Chair of the Department of Health Systems, Management and Policy at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “And there are real constraints in that system and can result in these kind of lags,”
Mays said those constraints can come from the private labs that, on average, now do more than 90 percent of the coronavirus testing in Colorado. Plus, sometimes results are sent to local health departments before the state receives them.
As for reporting death numbers, Mays said, “There can also be delays introduced depending on who actually generates the death certificate. Does it happen at a hospital? Does it happen outside a hospital, when a coroner may need to be involved?”
These are all confirmed cases of COVID-19. Public health experts agree the actual numbers are most likely much higher.
The state uses all of this information to create the models that show when COVID-19 cases could peak in Colorado.