Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for Dec. 13-Dec. 19, 2021

Posted at 11:55 AM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 07:57:08-05

More than 854,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 48,700 have been hospitalized as of Sunday, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Click here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Below, we're updating this blog with the latest information regarding COVID-19 in Colorado.

Latest updates:

Sunday, December 19

7:40 a.m. | Congressman Crow tests positive for COVID-19

Colorado Congressman Jason Crow released a statement Sunday evening after he tested positive for COVID-19 following an official trip to Ukraine.

It reads: “I just returned from an official congressional delegation visit to Ukraine and tested positive for a breakthrough COVID infection. I’m thankful to be fully vaccinated and boosted and experiencing only mild symptoms (the vaccine is safe and effective). Everyone eligible should get vaccinated and boosted to help prevent major illness and protect the wider community. I’ll continue to push for affordable access to rapid, reliable testing for all Americans.”

Crow is quarantining at home.

Friday, December 17

9:15 p.m. | Arvada Center cancels remaining 'Elf' performances

The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities has canceled their remaining performances of ‘Elf’ due to COVID-19.

The Arvada Center said it came to the decision after detecting positive COVID-19 cases in the cast and crew of the show.

“We sincerely apologize for this disappointment and inconvenience - we appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we navigate these circumstances and strive to keep our entire Arvada Center community safe and healthy,” the Arvada Center said in a statement.

Anyone who has tickets to the show has the following options:

  • Transfer ticket price to a gift certificate in your name, which can then be used for a future purchase at the Arvada Center. It expires one year from the issue date.
  • Donate the tickets and receive a tax-deductible donation for the total ticket value.
  • Receive a full refund.

Anyone who does not select one of the above options by Dec. 30 will automatically be issued a refund.

Questions can be directed to the Arvada Center’s box office at (720) 898-7200.

The Arvada Center said it follows rigorous testing protocol required by the Actors’ Equity Association, as well as following Jefferson County Board of Public Health guidelines, which include designating the stage of the Main Stage Theatre as a fully vaccinated facility.

8:51 p.m. | CSU men's basketball pulls out of CM Newton Classic

The Colorado State University men's basketball team will not compete in next week's C.M. Newton Classic due to COVID-19.

According to the team, the decision was made "based on various public health professional recommendations."

The C.M. Newton Classic is scheduled for Tuesday night in Alabama.

The team said the games with Tulsa and Alabama will not be made up.

5:54 p.m. | Mobile clinic offering free vouchers for Camp Christmas for people getting vaccinated

A mobile vaccine clinic will be held at Camp Christmas next week offering free entry vouchers for anyone ages 5 and up getting a vaccine.

The mobile clinic will be held in the parking lot of Camp Christmas, which is located at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 21.

Appointments are strongly encouraged.

5:38 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

866,477 cases (+2,438)
49,567 hospitalized (+57)
64 counties (+0)
4,218,161 people tested (+7,245)
13,680,372 test encounters (+40,550)
9,862 deaths among cases (+21)
10,138 deaths due to COVID-19 (+73)
7,073 outbreaks (+5)

The latest hospital data show 1,224 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 37 fewer than Thursday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 6.22%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Friday, 4,163,778 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,761,846 have been fully vaccinated.

5:14 pm. | Colorado Avalanche games postponed through Dec. 23 over COVID concerns

The Colorado Avalanche’s next four games – through Dec. 23 – have been postponed over COVID-19 concerns, the National Hockey League announced Friday.

The NHL postponed the Avs’ Dec. 18, Dec. 20, Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 matchups “due to concern with the number of positive cases within the last two days as well [as] concern for continued COVID spread in the upcoming days,” the league said in a news release Friday afternoon, adding that the decision was made by the league’s clubs’ medical groups and the players association.

The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers also had their games through Dec. 23 postponed.

“The Flames, Avalanche and Panthers organizations have followed, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of their players, staff and community at large,” the league said in a statement.

The soonest the Avalanche might play again is Dec. 27 at Las Vegas.

The Avs lost to Nashville 5-2 Thursday after both teams lost several players to COVID-19 protocols, ending their five-game win streak.

Devon Toews, J.T. Compher, Andre Burakovsky, Darcy Kuemper and Cale Makar were all placed on the COVID-19 protocol list this week.

Thursday, December 16

6:42 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

864,039 cases (+2,099)
49,510 hospitalized (+425)
64 counties (+0)
4,210,916 people tested (+6,754)
13,639,822 test encounters (+41,055)
9,841 deaths among cases (+62)
10,065 deaths due to COVID-19 (+17)
7,068 outbreaks (+5)

The latest hospital data was not updated as of this note. As of Wednesday 1,282 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 6.10%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Thursday, 4,157,984 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,757,455 have been fully vaccinated.

12:25 p.m. | University of Denver requiring negative COVID-19 test for return to campus in 2022

The University of Denver on Thursday said it is requiring a negative on-campus COVID-19 test result from everyone in the community for the return to campus in Winter Quarter 2022.

Undergraduates will resume in-person classes on Jan. 5, graduate students will resume in-person classes on Jan. 7, and Sturm College of Law will resume in-person on Jan. 10.

9:30 a.m. | Governor updates Coloradans on COVID-19 in the state

On Thursday morning, Gov. Polis said the hospitalization rate continues to go down around the state. Still, 1,227 Coloradans are in the hospital with COVID-19 as of now. Of those, 14% are vaccinated. He said Coloradans who get the booster are 47 times less likely to be hospitalized than those who are vaccinated.

As of now, 69.05% of eligible people are fully immunized in Colorado. About 76% of people have received at least one dose. About 26% of children 5-11 years old have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov., Polis, Mayor Coffman urge people to get boosted ahead of omicron wave

Polis said five cases of omicron have been detected in the state and it's only a matter of time before this variant becomes the more prevalent one in the state. He said the CDPHE has identified the first case believed to stem from community spread in Colorado.

Polis said 400 to 500 appointments were available at the Aurora Municipal Center, where he held the press conference, on Thursday and many more available at vaccination sites throughout the state. He stressed that it's important to get protected by Christmas and New Years, and that the booster adds that extra level of protection for both yourself, your family, and your community. Polis said Colorado is No. 9 in the country for percentage of the population that is boosted. But he added that the country as a whole is lagging behind other countries.

6:30 a.m. | Polis will provide update on COVID-19

Gov. Jared Polis will give an update on the state of COVID-19 in Colorado. Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman will join him. This press conference is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

Wednesday, December 15

6:47 p.m. | Denver New Year's Eve fireworks back on

After canceling due to COVID-19 last year, Denver's New Year's Eve fireworks are back on to ring in 2022.

Fireworks shows will occur at 9 p.m. and midnight over the 16th Street Mall. The shows will be identical featuring a music playlist from live DJs. They'll be at the mall from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Several other holiday events will be taking place for New Year's Eve across the city. For a full list of events and safety measures, click here.

5:17 p.m. | Colorado’s fourth omicron case detected in Garfield County, first with no recent travel history

The fourth case of the omicron variant has now been detected on Colorado’s Western Slope, the fist in the state with no recent travel history, according to local public health officials.

Garfield County Public Health nurse manager Sara Brainard said the county was notified Wednesday that a vaccinated individual had tested positive for the variant. Unlike the first three cases reported so far, however, Garfield County’s case had no recent travel history, suggesting there is community spread happening in the area.

The omicron variant, identified in South Africa in mid-November, was first detected in Colorado on Dec. 2 in an Arapahoe County woman who had recently traveled to southern Africa. Since then, cases have also been confirmed Boulder and Jefferson counties.

All known cases, except for the Boulder case, were confirmed to have occurred among fully vaccinated people.

Scientists are still learning about omicron, though preliminary data from South Africa, the U.K. and Hong Kong suggests the mutation is much more transmissible than previous variants and more adept at infecting people who’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who’ve recovered from prior infection.

Health experts have not yet been able to ascertain whether omicron will lead to more severe illness, hospitalization, or death.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team update Wednesday that data from South Africa showed that even though protection from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine drops to 33% against infection, the two-dose regimen is still 70% effective at preventing hospitalization in omicron patients. A booster increases protection against symptomatic infection to 75%.

The latest data from the CDC shows 61% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 27% have received a booster shot.

In Colorado, 69.05% of the population is fully vaccinated and 43.5% have received a booster shot, according to statewide data.

Read the full story here.

4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Colorado’s hospitalizations continue to decrease, as does the statewide seven-day average positivity rate, which fell to 6.3%, according to the latest data from theColorado Department of Public Health and Environment.)
49,085 hospitalized (+60)
64 counties (+0)
4,204,162 people tested (+4,545)
13,598,767 test encounters (+23,299)
9,779 deaths among cases (+39)
10,048 deaths due to COVID-19 (+30)
7,063 outbreaks (+14)

The latest hospital data show 1,282 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 40 fewer than Tuesday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 6.30%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Thursday 4,153,102 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,752,937 have been fully vaccinated.

Tuesday, December 14

4 p.m. | Colorado surpasses 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 on anniversary of vaccine's arrival

Colorado surpassed 10,000 deaths due to COVID-19 on Monday, the same day the state marked the anniversary of the arrival of the first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the state department of public health.

860,004 cases (+1,622)
49,025 hospitalized (+90)
64 counties (+0)
4,199,617 people tested (+4,198)
13,575,468 test encounters (+21,121)
9,740 deaths among cases (+70)
10,018 deaths due to COVID-19 (+64)
7,049 outbreaks (+16)

The latest hospital data showed 1,322 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 12 fewer than Monday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 6.47%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Tuesday, 4,146,895 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado, 3,746,383 people have been fully vaccinated.

12:42 p.m. | Colorado's third omicron variant case detected in Jefferson County

Colorado health officials confirmed Tuesday a third omicron variant case has been detected in the state.

The patient is an adult woman from Jefferson County. She had recently traveled to Africa, did not have any symptoms, was fully vaccinated and had received a booster shot prior to her confirmed omicron infection. The woman is isolating.

CDPHE has been in contact with the patient's contacts, all of whom have been tested. Officials say no additional transmission from this case has been detected at this point.

Health authorities are still learning about the omicron variant. At this time, it is believed the variant is more transmissible and CDPHE is encouraging all Coloradans who have traveled, been exposed to a known COVID-19 case, or are experiencing symptoms to get tested and isolate.

Officials say it is likely we will begin to see increased evidence of the omicron variant in Colorado.

Full story.

10:37 a.m. | Tuesday marks one year since first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Colorado

Today marks one year since the first shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Colorado. The vaccine is providing the health and safety we need and the arrival of vaccines one year ago marked a major milestone in the fight against the pandemic, the CDPHE said Tuesday morning.

As of now 76.2% of Coloradans 5 years old and up have been vaccinated with one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. In total, 68.8% of residents are fully vaccinated and 43.5% of people fully vaccinated have received the booster shot.

Click here to find a vaccine provider near you.

Monday, December 13

9:38 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data for Colorado. A reminder that today's state data is an aggregate from the weekend as well as Monday's.

858,382 cases (+4,298)
48,935 hospitalized (+318)
64 counties (+0)
4,195,419 people tested (+14,155)
13,554,347 test encounters (+125,527)
9,670 deaths among cases (+43)
9,954 deaths due to COVID-19 (+80)
7,033 outbreaks (+7)

The latest hospital data showed 1,334 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 42 fewer than Sunday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 6.85%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Monday, 4,142,280 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado, 3,739,632 people have been fully vaccinated.

11:25 a.m. | CDPHE to send text messages to those eligible for COVID-19 boosters who live near a community vaccination site 

If you're eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot but haven't gotten it yet and live near a community vaccination site, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is going to be texting you this week to remind you about getting a third shot.

Over 380,000 Coloradans will be getting a text message from 45778, reminding those 18+ who live within a 5-10 mile radius that they live near one of the following community vaccination sites:

  • Arapahoe Community College (Lot B), 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton CO, 80120
  • Aurora Municipal Center (drive-thru), 15151 E. Alameda Pkwy, Aurora, CO 80012
  • Chapel Hills Mall, 1710 Briargate Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80920
  • Citadel Mall (parking lot next to JCPenney), 680 Citadel Dr E., Colorado Springs CO, 80909
  • Douglas County Fairgrounds, 500 Fairgrounds Road, Castle Rock, CO
  • Jefferson Marketplace, 8194 S. Kipling Pkwy., Littleton, CO 80127
  • La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301
  • Pueblo Mall, 3201 Dillon Drive, Pueblo, CO 81008
  • Weld County Clerk and Recorder Building, 1250 H St., Greeley, CO 80631

You're eligible for a booster if you received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than six months ago, or if you received the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine more than two months ago.

Click here for the COVID-19 live blog for Dec. 6-Dec. 12, 2021.