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Colorado coronavirus latest case, vaccine numbers for May 18

There are currently 528 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and the state's seven-day positivity rate decreased slightly to 4.39%.

COLORADO, USA — There are 528 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado as of May 18, and the seven-day positivity rate increased slightly to 4.39%, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Positivity is an important indicator of the status of COVID-19 in the state. The World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2020 recommended that the positivity rate be at or below 5% to contain the virus.

Additionally, 2,837,229 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of May 18, and 2,374,556 of them have been fully vaccinated.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were shown in clinical trials to be about 95% effective and require two doses to achieve immunization. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was shown to be 86% effective at preventing severe disease and requires one dose.

> Video above: Shots on Skis: Arapahoe Basin hosts vaccine clinic on the slopes

Current hospitalization data are also a key metric because they can be an indicator of whether Colorado’s hospital system is being overwhelmed by the virus. In April 2020, hospitalizations peaked at 888 in one day. That number was surpassed Nov. 5, when the number increased to 894, and it climbed through Dec. 2 when hospitalizations peaked at just below 2,000. 

Data are released each day at 4 p.m. Numbers will be updated each day at that time.

A breakdown of the data and links to related stories can be found below.

What to know right now:

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Coronavirus data breakdown

CDPHE reports 533,119 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. That's up from 532,389 the day prior.  

The graphic below shows case growth, which comes from subtracting the total number of cases from the previous day. A moving average helps capture a trend over a period of time. This removes some noise from the day-to-day numbers. The line on the graph is the seven-day moving average of case growth.

Vaccination data breakdown

  • Colorado opened up eligibility for the vaccine to the general public on April 2. 
  • 2,837,229 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  
  • 2,374,556 people have been fully vaccinated.
  • 1,436 total vaccine providers.

Colorado received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December authorized emergency use for both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Both were shown to be around 95% effective in clinical trials and require two doses. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on Feb. 27. It was shown to be 86% effective at preventing severe disease and requires one dose.

On April 13, the FDA recommended a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots. The clots were found in 15 women, most under age 50. Three of them died. On April 23, U.S. health officials lifted the pause after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh the risk.

The graph below shows the percentage of Colorado's population that has been vaccinated. Health experts say they expect we'll reach herd immunity when about 70% of the population is fully vaccinated.

> More information on the state's vaccination rollout plan can be found here.

> More information on the state's current phases can be found here.

Positivity 

Positivity is the number of tests that come back with a COVID-19 result. Above 10% could be an indicator that not enough testing is being done and that only people likely to have COVID are getting tested. The World Health Organization recommended in May 2020 that the positivity rate should be even lower, 5%, to contain the virus.

Fatalities

CDPHE reports:

  • 6,456 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 6,582 deaths due to COVID-19

The majority of deaths — 52% — are among people over age 80; 24% of deaths occurred in people between ages 70-79, and 13% were in people ages 60-69.

The graph below shows the number of people who have died from COVID-19 based on the date of their death.

On May 15, CDPHE shifted to a death documentation difference that divided into "deaths among cases" and "deaths due to COVID-19." Dr. Rachel Herlihy, a state epidemiologist at CDPHE, said on May 18 that deaths in the "among" category are from those that tested positive for COVID-19 either before or after death. This is done by medical workers on the front line. Deaths in the "due to" category lag and stem from death certificates that the Centers for Disease Control codes and then sends to CDPHE. On the CDPHE website, it explains the two categories should not be on the same timeline because of reporting differences.

Hospitalizations

Of those who tested positive for the disease, a total of 29,436 cumulative hospitalizations have been reported.

As of May 18, 528 patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 103 patients have been transferred or discharged.

(Note: 88% of facilities reported data on May 18)

The graph below shows the number of people currently hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis and the number of people who have been discharged or transferred within 24 hours. This is a key metric because it can be an indicator of whether or not Colorado’s hospital system is being overwhelmed by the virus.

Testing

According to CDPHE, 8,270,665 total tests have been administered and
3,004,348 people have been tested. All 64 counties have reported cases.     

This graph shows the total number of tests processed each day.

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