DENVER — A total of 76.2% of Colorado's population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 68.8% is fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Statewide, there were 110 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 as of May 3, and there have been an average of 1,062 new cases of the virus per day over the last seven days.
Hospitalizations are a key metric for health officials since they indicate whether the healthcare system is being overwhelmed by the virus. Since vaccines have become widely available, doctors have said the vast majority of new COVID-19 hospitalizations are people who have not received a shot.
Over the last week that data was collected, about 9.69% of tested COVID-19 samples in Colorado were the original omicron variant, and 90.31% were the so-called "stealth" omicron variant.
The BA.2 variant is often informally referred to as “stealth" omicron because it has genetic mutations that could make it harder to detect through testing, the American Medical Association says.
BA.2 may be more contagious than the original version of omicron, as it appears to have a “faster growth rate,” 9NEWS Medical Expert Dr. Payal Kohli said. Medical experts believe BA.2 is about 1.5 times more transmissible than BA.1, Saralyn Mark, M.D., former senior medical advisor to the White House and American Medical Women's Association COVID-19 Lead, added.
Vaccines provide the same level of protection against severe illness and hospitalization of the BA.2 subvariant compared to other variants, according to Kohli, but it’s unclear right now if BA.2 makes people sicker.
The omicron variant was detected in November in the region of southern Africa.
On Dec. 2, Colorado's first case of the omicron variant was detected in Arapahoe County.
Colorado was the third state to detect the omicron variant.
Everyone in Colorado who is 5 years old or older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Of those who are currently eligible, 82.28% have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 74.3% are fully vaccinated, according to CDPHE data.
An estimated 429,801 Coloradans are younger than 5 and are currently not eligible to receive a vaccine.
About 35.3% of Coloradans have received an additional booster dose of the vaccine.
The pie chart below shows Colorado's vaccination progress:
Colorado received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14, 2020. 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, 2021. It was shown to be 86% effective at preventing severe disease and requires one dose.
The Pfizer vaccine is the one shot that has been approved for children between 5 and 17.
The graph below, which is updated weekly, shows the number of people currently hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
This includes both those people who are in the hospital because of COVID-19 and those who are in the hospital for another reason and then tested positive after they were admitted.
Another indicator of whether hospitals are being overwhelmed by the virus is ICU capacity.
The graph below show the percentage of ICU beds that are currently in use.
In the week of April 17, the hospitalization rate among people who are fully vaccinated was 0.7 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, according to CDPHE. The case hospitalization rate among people who are not vaccinated was 2.0 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people during the same week.
See a graph of new cases by day below.
This chart is updated weekly.
In the week of April 24, the the case incidence rate among people who are fully vaccinated was 90.6 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to CDPHE. The case incidence rate among people who are not vaccinated was 83.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people during the same week.
The number of new cases reported in a single day previously first peaked on Nov. 12, 2020 with 6,801 Coloradans testing positive for COVID-19. That was surpassed on Dec. 28, 2021 when 7,072 cases were reported. Daily case counts continued to climb dramatically until reaching a second peak of 19,424 Coloradans testing positive on Jan. 6, 2022.
See Colorado's latest positivity rate in the graphic below.
This chart is updated weekly.
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.
CDPHE reports there have been:
- 12,497 deaths among people with COVID-19
- 13,256 deaths due to COVID-19
It's worth mentioning that deaths are a lagging metric, meaning that there are often multiple days between when someone dies and when that information is distributed to health officials.
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