Colorado’s COVID-19 test positivity rate rises above 5%, hospitalizations surge
DENVER — Colorado is experiencing another surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, prompting Gov. Jared Polis to plead Tuesday with residents to wear masks, stay home as much as possible, and maintain social distancing practices.
As of Tuesday, Colorado’s three-day average positivity rate — the percentage of total tests coming in positive — was 5.4%, and the state recorded 1,000 newly confirmed cases both Saturday and Monday, the highest daily numbers recorded during the pandemic, Polis said.
About 290 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest total since May 31, The Denver Post reported.
During a briefing on the pandemic, Polis didn’t suggest he was contemplating renewed mandatory restrictions on business or other activities to stem the surge. But he insisted: “If this continues, our hospital capacity will be in jeopardy.”
The World Health Organization recommends trying to keep the positivity rate below 5% of all tests. Higher rates suggest authorities are missing large numbers of infections.
On Monday, the head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment suggested daily coronavirus caseloads may have surpassed 4,000 in March and April. The numbers weren’t recorded because far fewer people were being tested, said Jill Hunsaker Ryan.
She said the state has experienced three surges: In March and April, after July 4, and after Labor Day, Sept. 7. State data suggest Denver and Adams counties are among those recording the highest numbers of newly confirmed cases.
More than 2,000 people have died and more than 80,000 people have been hospitalized for the disease since the pandemic began.
The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
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When the Morse family got a call on their home phone about the Colorado Comeback Scholarship program, Toby Morse said he wasn’t quite sure what it was about.