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Latest COVID-19 numbers: Massive surge shows early signs of slowing

Here are the numbers for how many vaccines have been distributed in Colorado, how many new cases of COVID have been reported, and current hospitalizations.

DENVER — A total of 73.1% of Colorado's population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 65.7% is fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). 

Statewide, there are 1,655 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Jan. 17, and there have been an average of 11,550 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. 

> See the raw data from CDPHE here.

> Find the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines here. 

Variants

Over the last week that data was collected, 100% of tested COVID-19 samples in Colorado were the omicron variant.

See more data from CDPHE about variants here.

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.

RELATED: Here are the most common omicron symptoms being reported

The delta variant, first detected in India, is more contagious and may cause more severe illness than the original strain of COVID-19.

Public health officials said while there is a slight decrease in vaccine efficacy with the delta variant, there is still a lot of protection since the level of protection was so high to start with.

Infectious disease specialists also said for the smaller number of breakthrough cases, that most of them are asymptomatic or mild symptoms.

Vaccines

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, 78.94% have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 71% 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 29.8% 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. 

Hospitalizations 

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. The second group of people has become more prevalent during the current spread of the omicron variant, which doctors say appears to lead to less severe illness than previous strains of the disease.

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 Dec. 19, the hospitalization rate among people who are fully vaccinated was 3.9 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, according to CDPHE. The case hospitalization rate among people who are not vaccinated was 46.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people during the same week.

Cases

See a graph of new cases by day below. 

This chart is updated weekly.  

In the week of Jan. 2, the the case incidence rate among people who are fully vaccinated was 545.9 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to CDPHE. The case incidence rate among people who are not vaccinated was 1,072 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people during the same week.

The number of new cases reported in a single day previously 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 have continued to climb dramatically since then.

Positivity  

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.

Fatalities 

CDPHE reports there have been: 

  • 10,659 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 11,003 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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