Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, has cautioned that Colorado risks a big third wave of coronavirus cases if people do not stay vigilant by wearing masks, keeping their distance from others and avoiding large gatherings — especially indoors.
“This is a warning sign for us, just as we had a warning sign in July and we were able to correct course. We need to do a little bit better,” Polis said during a news conference.
Polis said college-aged residents are seeing “significant outbreak,” yet surge in cases goes beyond young people.
With Colorado’s recent rising number of COVID-19 cases due to the “significant outbreak” among college-aged people, state officials warned Tuesday that all age groups now are seeing increased infections.
Colorado last week recorded its third consecutive seven-day period of increasing COVID-19 infections as the weekly case count reached a level not seen since the end of the state’s second spike in cases this summer.
Polis said public health officials are seeing two big trends: the “significant outbreak” among 18- to 25-year-olds, who are primarily college students and mostly at the University of Colorado Boulder; and the “even more alarming” increase in every other age group.
“The latter rise, however, is not tied to the campus outbreaks,” he said.
“It’s equally important to recognize that we are seeing an overall increase in all age groups. There’s an acceleration of disease transmission occurring in this state,” stated epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said.
Herlihy added that the first two weeks of September saw 2% and 6% week-over-week increases in COVID cases statewide, respectively — followed last week by a 54% spike.
But Hospitalizations for COVID-19 remain stable in Colorado, considering 148 people hospitalized with the virus statewide on Tuesday, according to state data.
Polis noted that among 18- to 25-year-olds — who are not at the highest risk for complications — the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 is only 1% to 2%.
Testing increased in Colorado last week, but so did the rate at which coronavirus tests come back positive, according to Herlihy.