DENVER (KDVR) — Officials say it won’t approach past waves, but there is another COVID uptick coming.
The Colorado School of Public Health released a report on Friday that lays out several possibilities for a COVID wave. The school lays out several possible scenarios for the number of people who will be hospitalized. The number of hospitalizations depends on whether a new variant emerges and whether that variant is especially dangerous.
Neither scenario is likely, officials say.
There have been record-low numbers of COVID hospitalizations recently, but they have risen slightly as cases have risen.
“Percent positivity has increased from a low of 2.6% (7-day moving average) on March 18, 2022, to 4.8% as of April 18, 2022,” reads the report. “Over the past week, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 increased from 77 last week to 88 as of April 19, 2022.”
In all projections, hospitalizations will begin to rise in early May and peak in late June.
State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said without a new, highly infectious and severe strain, hospital numbers will only increase modestly.
“With a new variant, what we would experience really depends on the characteristics,” Herlihy said. “The most likely scenarios, and nearly all the scenarios, suggest that we wouldn’t see hospitalization numbers that stress on our healthcare system previously with the omicron wave, the delta wave, even the alpha wave, with a new wave. It would take both a high degree of immune breakthrough … plus a variant that was more virulent and caused more severe illness, for us to get to a place where we saw those high hospitalization numbers.”
Herlihy also said the likelihood of such a strain is low. Typically, viral strains lessen in severity as they work through the community.