Colorado health officials on Saturday reported 1,327 people who had contracted COVID-19 have died since the new coronavirus was first confirmed in the state, and that death-certificate data shows 1,088 fatalities were directly due to the virus.
That’s an increase of three deaths of people with the virus and zero additional fatalities from COVID-19 over Friday’s tallies, though there’s a lag in reporting deaths to the state health department — particularly death-certificate data.
Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 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 4,105 people hospitalized since the outbreak was confirmed in the state in early March, though only 426 people were hospitalized with symptoms of the illness as of Saturday afternoon, state data shows. At least 32 people since Friday either went home or were transferred to a lower level of care such as a rehabilitation facility.
Additionally, as of Saturday, there were 336 critical care ventilators being used across the state, down from 463 a month ago, according to state data.
To date, 23,964 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 the true number is closer to 167,000.
Officials recorded 6,215 tests on Friday as the state ramps up its capabilities to better track the virus. The testing rate — 109.1 tests per 100,000 people per day — is the highest testing total to date, and Colorado health officials have previously said they hope to reach over 8,500 tests per day by the end of May. Health experts say 152 tests per 100,000 people is the daily number necessary to safely monitor the outbreak.
Much of the testing has been focused on senior living facilities and other care homes, though Gov. Jared Polis on Monday announced that anybody in the state showing COVID-19 symptoms can get tested for free. Officials have confirmed outbreaks at 263 contained facilities across the state, including nursing homes, jails and factories. That’s three 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.
On May 15, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment changed the way it is reporting COVID-19 deaths. Where the CDPHE previously reported all deaths related to COVID-19 as one category, it is now using two categories: “deaths among cases,” which is those who died while infected with COVID-19, and “deaths due to COVID-19.”
We will report both numbers here, but will continue to use the same framework we’ve been using for the graphics, “deaths among cases,” since it is the only one the CDPHE breaks down by date. We continue to use the “date of onset” data rather than the “reported date” data.
Data could lag a day or two, which is reflected on the charts, and data within the most recent week is likely to be revised. Not all cumulative cases are active — the state has not released recovery data. Source for all data is the CDPHE.
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