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Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for Feb. 7-13, 2022

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Posted at 10:18 AM, Feb 07, 2022

More than 1,270,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 57,800 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:

Friday, Feb. 11

4:46 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

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

1,288,600 cases (+2,613)
58,672 hospitalized (+204)
64 counties (+0)
4,724,055 people tested (+3,306)
16,280,721 test encounters (+25,050)
11,601 deaths among cases (+18)
11,983 deaths due to COVID-19 (-2)
8,221 outbreaks (+18)

The latest hospital data show 812 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 108 fewer than Thursday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 9.67%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Friday, 4,394,986 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,936,467 have been fully vaccinated.

12:44 p.m. | Regis indoor mask requirement

Regis University announced Friday that it will maintain its indoor mask requirement until spring break, which starts Feb. 26.

In a letter to students and staff, the university said:

While the University's COVID-19 test positivity rate has declined to 1%, surrounding community rates are higher and federal masking requirement for transportation remains in effect. The CDC also continues to advise masking as hospitalizations and death rates from COVID-19, largely among the unvaccinated, remain elevated.

The Regis community has done an excellent job of masking to help keep everyone safe. It makes the most sense to keep up this effort for two more weeks and do our part to keep the COVID-19 trends moving in the right direction. As members of a Jesuit university, we are men and working in service to others. Getting vaccinated and masking is an act of service, and as Pope Francis said, an act of love.

Thursday, Feb. 10

5:56 p.m. | Douglas County appoints new public health executive director

The Douglas County Board of Health appointed Michael Hill to be the new health department’s public health executive director Thursday. He will start Feb. 28.

He was previously the health agency director for San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) Health Agency and has about 30 years of public health experience in California, Texas, Florida and Illinois, according to the county.

He has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Florida and a Master of Public Administration degree from Florida Atlantic University.

“We are extremely pleased Mr. Hill will be joining Douglas County, following a five-month process conducted by a national executive search firm,” said Board President Doug Benevento, on behalf of the Douglas County Board of Health. “We look forward to his leadership moving forward on our shared vision. He brings to us a wealth of experience, a leadership style that builds consensus, and commitment to promoting public health and safety.”

5:46 p.m. | Jefferson County ending mask mandate early

The Jefferson County Board of Health voted to end its mask requirement effective Friday at 11:59 p.m. It had previously been set to end on Feb. 18.
The requirement will end for schools and child care settings, though students and staff will still have to wear masks at school on Friday. They will still be required on school buses.

“We recognize some staff and students may choose to continue wearing a mask while in school or district buildings,” Jeffco Public School wrote in a letter to families. “As always, our schools and classrooms will provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students and staff. Behavior such as ‘mask shaming’ will not be tolerated.”

The change in the date of the end of the mask requirements come three days after Jefferson County Public Health Executive Director Dr. Dawn Comstock resigned Monday.

4:59 p.m. | Colorado Hospital Transfer Center down to Tier 1

The Colorado Hospital Transfer Center is down to Tier 1, the lowest level of activation. That came after the center moved to Tier 2 a week ago.

The Colorado Hospital Association said the move comes as cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations continue to decline.

“Tier 1 of the CHTC continues existing relationships between smaller and rural hospitals and larger medical centers and health systems to facilitate direct patient transfers,” the CHA said in a news release. “CHA and the CHTC leads will continue to evaluate the number of requests for patient transfers and will coordinate with the state for further action on the CHTC.”

4:54 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 have dropped below 1,000 for the fist time in four months. Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

1,285,987 cases (+3,068)
58,468 hospitalized (+345)
64 counties (+0)
4,720,749 people tested (+3,491)
16,255,671 test encounters (+35,694)
11,583 deaths among cases (+45)
11,985 deaths due to COVID-19 (+61)
8,203 outbreaks (+10)

The latest hospital data show 920 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, the same as Wednesday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 10.86%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

AsAs of Friday4,392,916 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,934,236 have been fully vaccinated.

4:28 p.m. | Jeffco Public Schools drops mask policy beginning Feb. 12

Masks will no longer be required inside Jeffco Public Schools buildings beginning Saturday, Feb. 12.

In a letter sent out to parents, teachers and staff, the district said masks will be option but highly encouraged. This applies to all students, staff, families and visitors.

Masks will still be required on district buses, per federal law.

10 a.m. | Colorado children under 5 could be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by Presidents' Day, CDPHE says

Colorado children under 5 years of age could be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as early as Presidents' Day, state health officials announced Thursday.

Scott Bookman, the state health department’s COVID-19 incident commander, told reporters during a weekly news conference that the state is preparing for vaccines to be made available to children in the month of February, “possibly as early as Presidents' Day,” and that Colorado health officials are in talks with partners across the state to make sure they order vaccine shipments once they get the green light from the FDA and the CDC under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), a process which is expected to happen no later than Feb. 18.

State Epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy, from her part, said Colorado continues to see consistent improvement in the number of cases across the state, with the weekly average of new infections hovering in the 3,000s – numbers still well above what Colorado has seen in prior epidemic waves since the start of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are also trending “quite well,” she said, with the current number of people hospitalized for the disease standing at 861 as of Wednesday, Feb. 9.

“I feel 800 Coloradans being in the hospital isn’t our ideal state for COVID-19,” Herlihy said when asked if the state was keeping a metric for when they think Colorado could be out of the water post-omicron. “I think we have ways to go but numbers between waves of illness were 200-300, so that would be a more comfortable place to get to.”

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows Colorado has the eighth lowest rate across the country for current weekly hospitalizations, and state data shows the positivity rate – the metric used by federal, state and local public health officials to determine just how much of the virus is spreading across the community – is now at 10.86%, still more than twice the number recommended by health officials to curb transmission of COVID-19.

As the omicron wave subsides, Colorado health officials say they’re looking at various scenarios and what the right strategies might be coming into the fall and winter as the state expects high immunity rates to continue over the next several months, even though questions remain on how long that reprieve will last not only across Colorado but across the country as a whole.

Both Herlihy and Bookman urged Coloradans to get vaccinated or boosted if they haven’t already done so. Data from the state found Coloradans who’ve received a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are 12 times less likely to be hospitalized for the disease and 56 times less likely to die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.

Pressed on the mixed messaging coming from the CDPHE surrounding masks, especially the wearing of KN95s as counties lift mandates, Bookman said the state knows public health guidance has “felt at times like a seesaw,” but reiterated the state has a number of tools at their disposal including vaccines, masks, therapeutics and testing that it didn’t have a year and a half ago.

“While the next few months look very promising, it is possible that we will come back to – at another point – on how to talk about what measures do we need to take. It is likely that we will need to do additional doses of the vaccine,” Bookman said in closing remarks. “Will we come to a point where we need to put more masks on again?”

Read the full story.

Wednesday, Feb. 9

4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 have dropped below 1,000 for the fist time in four months. Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

1,282,919 cases (+3,601)
58,123 hospitalized (+146)
64 counties (+0)
4,717,258 people tested (+3,044)
16,219,977 test encounters (+30,752)
11,538 deaths among cases (+122)
11,924 deaths due to COVID-19 (+65)
8,193 outbreaks (+31)

The latest hospital data show 920 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 92 fewer than Tuesday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 10.86%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Wednesday, 4,390,797 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,931,897 have been fully vaccinated.

11:41 a.m. | Parts of Erie no longer required to wear masks

The Town of Erie Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to repeal the face mask extensions over the Weld County parts of the Town of Erie. However, facilities in Boulder County are still under a mask mandate.

The Town of Erie would like to remind residents that private businesses are still able to enact restrictions as they deem fit, and ask that they be kind and respectful to those businesses or neighbors who still decide to wear masks.

This repeal also does not impact what school districts decide to do - the school districts will set their own policies, officials said. You're asked to check with schools, businesses, and other facilities upon entry to determine their requirements.

10:45 a.m. | Denver Public Schools to lift mask requirement

The public health order requiring masks in Denver schools will end on Feb. 25, the City and County of Denver announced Wednesday morning.

The order, which applies to both schools and childcare facilities, will officially end at 11:59 p.m. on Feb 25. It went into effect on Aug. 9, 2021.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, Feb. 8

4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 and the state's positivity rate remain at very high levels as Colorado continues to trend downward following the omicron surge from mid-December. Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

1,279,858 cases (+2,880)
58,123 hospitalized (+146)
64 counties (+0)
4,714,214 people tested (+2,665)
16,189,225 test encounters (+21,277)
11,416 deaths among cases (+12)
11,859 deaths due to COVID-19 (+51)
8,162 outbreaks (+19)

The latest hospital data show 1,012 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 18 fewer than Monday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 11.67%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Wednesdayay, 4,388,495 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,929,732 have been fully vaccinated.

1:53 p.m. | Update on at-home testing kit and mask distribution in Colorado

The CDPHE announced Tuesday that Colorado has distributed 2.07 million at-home rapid tests and 3,729,600 KN95 and surgical grade masks.

“We’re encouraged by the high level of interest Coloradans have shown for both these programs,” said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander. “As the state has seen throughout this pandemic, individual Coloradans and families are our best partner in the shared effort to put the pandemic behind us. The quick response and collaborative spirit demonstrated by the 431 community distribution points  that chose to help distribute masks in their communities throughout the state is impressive. These partners have helped us distribute 3.7 million masks in a matter of weeks, which is truly an unparalleled accomplishment.” 

The mask distribution program has 431 local redistribution sites, including 181 libraries, 102 fire departments and 148 other community locations

Click here for details on the Rapid At-Home testing program, and click here for more on the mask distributions.

Monday, Feb. 7

5 p.m. | Jefferson County Public Health director Dr. Dawn Comstock resigns

Jefferson County Public Health Executive Director Dr. Dawn Comstock offered her resignation Monday about a year after she took the position and following a mostly closed-door board meeting.

The county board of health accepted her resignation, board president Cheri Jahn said in a statement. The board met in executive session Monday, and Comstock’s employment was the only item on the agenda.

“Dr. Comstock has been a committed public servant, and this board is grateful for her public health expertise and guidance throughout the past year,” Jahn said in a statement.

Jahn said once Comstock’s resignation is complete, the board will start the “process of transitioning her position.”

“We are grateful for Dr. Comstock’s service and look forward to keeping the public updated as we put together a transition team and search for the next director of JCPH,” Jahn said.

It is unclear specifically what led Comstock to resign, and the board did not release a reason.

Click here to read the full story.

4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. A reminder that today's state data is an aggregate from the weekend as well as Monday's.

1,276,978 cases (+6,840)
57,977 hospitalized (+169)
64 counties (+0)
4,711,549 people tested (+9,325)
16,167,948 test encounters (+94,699)
11,404 deaths among cases (+202)
11,808 deaths due to COVID-19 (+90)
8,143 outbreaks (+28)

The latest hospital data show 1,030 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 54 fewer than Sunday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 12.22%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Tuesdayy, 4,385,797 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,927,711 have been fully vaccinated.

9:45 a.m. | Mask mandate lifts for Aurora Public Schools

The Tri-County Health Department voted to end mask requirements, including at schools, last week. This goes into effect today for Aurora Public Schools. However, masks are still strongly encouraged for students and staff, APS said.

Click here for the COVID-19 live blog for Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2022.