DENVER (KDVR) — In an update with state health leaders Friday afternoon, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment leaders and Governor Jared Polis revealed just how wide spread variants are in a “fourth and final wave” in Colorado.
State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy outlined how 43-45% of specimens the state is testing weekly are the UK B.1.1.7 variant and 18-20% of specimens tested are the B.1.427/B.1.429 California variant.
“This means that really more than 50% of positive cases that are occurring in this state are now due to variants of COVID-19,” Herlihy said. “So because of that, if you develop COVID now chances are that you’re actually going to be infected with a variant that is more easily spread, and could potentially cause more severe illness.”
The state currently has 12 cases of the P1 Brazil variant of concern, located in Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder and Denver counties.
Polis outlined how more than 400 people are currently hospitalized in Colorado, the most since Feb. 19, and most people impacted in the state are between 18 and 50 years old.
The state also has a new way to find vaccine appointments. You can do so by texting “vaccine” to 1-855-355-4566.