DENVER (KDVR) — The COVID emergency declaration will end in May, but that isn’t keeping infection numbers from rising locally.
Cases are rising and with that, so are hospitalizations. Though people in the medical field said it’s a manageable situation.
“We are seeing a slight uptick in the number of COVID cases just around the city and around the state in general,” Dr. Carrie Horn, chief medical officer at National Jewish Health, said.
Horn attributes the rise to cold weather and a new variant of the virus.
“The cold is driving people indoors where you’re more likely to have transmission,” Horn said. “The newest variants, again, seem to be a little bit more contagious.”
The rising cases have sent more infected people to the hospital.
“They’re going up a little bit which is consistent with cases going up but pretty similar to what we’ve been seeing,” said Horn.
The new variant could be a little more difficult for rapid tests to detect, according to Horn.
“One is around the viral load and the amount of antigen that’s being expressed,” Horn said. “So, you have to have enough for the test to be sensitive enough to pick it up.”
If you’ve had symptoms but tested negative, it could be because there isn’t enough of the virus in your sample.
“They need to have a little bit more substance there to be able to test positive,” Horn said.
Consult your doctor if you think you need another booster.
“A lot of it depends on your personal level of risk around how many different boosters should you have or have had,” Horn said.
If you’ve been sick or think you could be at risk, Horn said you can always wear a mask or stay home to keep the new variant from spreading.