As of Monday, the number of hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases in Colorado has remained stable or improving, although it will be clear by the end of this week if the virus will spread across Thanksgiving tables.
As of Monday afternoon, 1,379 people were hospitalized statewide with confirmed COVID-19, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. That’s a small spike – 11 people – since Friday.
However, the number of new hospitalizations is still declining, which suggests that hospitalizations will continue to move in the right direction, said Beth Carlton, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the Colorado School of Public Health and contributor to the COVID-19 government simulation. … command.
Cases reported in the week ending Sunday were up more than 900 from the previous week, which is not surprising as the lack of testing on holidays tends to lower the number of cases. However, fewer people tested positive than in the third week of November, and the percentage of positive test results remained relatively stable. This suggests that the situation is at least not getting worse.
However, that doesn’t mean the good times are back. Half of the hospitals reporting to the state said they expected staff shortages next week and about 94% of intensive care beds are full – a significant improvement from last week, but still well above the normal level of roughly 80% capacity.
Overall positive trends mean Colorado has a “window of opportunity” to reduce sickness and hospitalizations before people get ready for vacation at the end of the year, Carlton said.
“It is much safer to gather when community transmission is low,” she said.
So far, there is no indication that the new version of the omicron is having much impact in Colorado. The state has only confirmed two cases, both from people who have recently traveled to southern Africa. This variant has spread rapidly around the world, reaching at least 18 states and over 50 countries, and is possibly causing a spike in cases in South Africa.
Early evidence from South Africa suggests the omicron may be more contagious than the delta variantwhich currently accounts for nearly all COVID-19 cases in Colorado. A small study of 166 people with omicron found that they usually had mild symptoms, but this was a young group, so this may not reflect the risk for those at higher risk for severe illness.
Experts believe that vaccines will continue to be effective in preventing severe omicron-related illness and that people who get boosted will have more protection. However, the world is still waiting for data on how much the level of protection against vaccines will suffer from the new option.
Although the omicron in Colorado is not widespread at this point and the flu season is still mild, it would be a good idea to get vaccinated against both viruses and get a booster shot for COVID-19 if enough time has passed, Carlton said. While the situation in the hospital is improving, there are not many vacancies to cope with the influx of patients.
“We don’t want to put an omicron on top of everything,” she said.
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