Colorado health officials on Tuesday reported 1,352 people who had contracted COVID-19 have died since the new coronavirus was first confirmed in the state, and that death-certificate data shows 1,114 fatalities were directly due to the virus.
That’s an increase of 19 deaths of people who had the virus and 16 additional fatalities tied directly to COVID-19 over Monday’s tallies, though there’s a lag in reporting deaths to the state health department — particularly death-certificate data.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently revamped the way it reports deaths related to the new coronavirus, listing the total number of fatalities in which the person had the virus as well as the number of deaths that have been directly attributed to COVID-19 on a death certificate.
There have been 4,160 people hospitalized since the outbreak was confirmed in the state in early March, though only 367 people were hospitalized with symptoms of the illness as of Tuesday afternoon, state data shows. That’s the lowest hospitalizations have been since March 30, when 358 people were in the hospital for COVID-19. At least 36 people since Monday either went home or were transferred to a lower level of care such as a rehabilitation facility.
Additionally, as of Tuesday, there were 342 critical care ventilators being used across the state, down from 463 a month ago, according to state data.
To date, 24,565 people have tested positive for or are believed to have COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory illness causes by the virus, though health officials have said they believe the true number is closer to 167,000.
Officials recorded 4,050 tests on Monday as the state ramps up its capabilities to better track the virus. The testing rate — 71.1 tests per 100,000 people per day — is far than earlier in the pandemic, though health experts say 152 tests per 100,000 people is the daily number necessary to safely monitor the outbreak.
Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday said the state now has the supplies and capabilities to test 8,500 people per day, roughly 2,200 more tests than the previous highest daily total.
Much of the testing has been focused on senior living facilities and other care homes, though Polis last week announced that anybody in the state showing COVID-19 symptoms can get tested for free. Officials have confirmed outbreaks at 267 contained facilities across the state, including nursing homes, jails and factories. That’s one more than the previous day.
The state health department announces new totals daily of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases based on what’s reported up from Colorado’s counties; though the deaths and positive test results may be announced on a particular day, they may have occurred any time in the past and are just now being reported to the state.
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