Would the COVID dial have shut a few counties down if it were still around?

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — People aren’t being sent to the hospital with COVID nearly as much as they used to, but the Delta variant’s presence in Western Colorado has pushed some of its COVID measurements into ranges that would have triggered public safety precautions just a few months ago.

Throughout the pandemic and until late May, the state used the COVID dial to gauge the overall virus risk in each county.

The dial measured the one-week incidence rate, the weekly test positivity rate and hospitalization trends. Each of the three could land anywhere from Level Green to Level Purple (extreme risk).

Nobody is ringing alarms just yet. Alongside low hospitalization rates, the statewide rate for deaths among cases is at its lowest point since last summer, and although case rates have been trending slowly upward, they still remain at the same levels we saw in early June.

As far as hospitalizations go, every county in the Centennial State is still in the lowest-risk zone. All counties have had at least 12-14 days of decreasing or stable hospitalization numbers.

According to the other two metrics though, certain counties would have been in some of the COVID dial’s more intense categories if it was still being used today.

There are 10 counties where the one-week cumulative incidence average would have fallen into mid-range levels of the COVID dial.

Hinsdale, Mesa, Routt, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Archuleta, Summit, Alamosa and Huerfano counties would have each been Level Yellow: Concern. Moffatt County, which now has the highest cumulative incidence, would have been in the Level Orange: High Risk category.

The one-week average positivity would have put a similar amount of counties in mid-caution levels and even higher.

One-week positivity rates in seven Colorado counties would have put them into the Level Red: Severe Risk category — the COVID dial’s second-highest level.

Hinsdale, Dolores, Lake, Custer, Moffat, Clear Creek and Ouray counties each have a one-week test positivity rate of more than 10%. Hinsdale alone is a 33.3% positivity rate.

San Miguel, Summit, Archuleta and Saguache counties would each have fallen into Level Orange. Rio Blanco, Eagle, Garfield, Weld, Lincoln and Las Animas counties would have been at Level Yellow.

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