Colorado hits highest COVID-19 testing number to date as state closes in on mass testing capabilities
Colorado on Thursday topped its previous high-water mark for COVID-19 testing, as the state gets closer and closer to reaching the mass testing that public health experts say is needed to safely monitor the virus.
A combination of private facilities and the state-run lab tested 7,922 people on Thursday, state data shows. The testing rate — 139.1 tests per 100,000 people per day — is getting close to the 152-tests-per-100,000 people pegged as the golden number for health officials to understand where the virus is spreading.
Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday said the state now has the supplies and capabilities to test 8,500 people per day.
One day after Colorado hospitals admitted their lowest number of COVID-19 patients since state health officials began tracking new admission, new patients rose back up to 34 on Wednesday, the latest available data. That number is still far lower than mid-April, when some 250 people were being hospitalized with the new coronavirus each day.
And total hospitalizations continue to decrease.There have been 4,307 people hospitalized since the outbreak was confirmed in the state in early March, though only 321 people were hospitalized with symptoms of the illness as of Friday afternoon, state data shows. That’s the lowest level of hospitalizations since March 28, when 307 people were in the hospital for COVID-19.
More and more people continue to recover. At least 55 individuals since Thursday either went home or were transferred to a lower level of care such as a rehabilitation facility, according to state data.
Still, fatalities from the virus continue to mount.
Colorado health officials on Friday reported 1,436 people who had contracted COVID-19 have died since the new coronavirus was first confirmed in the state, and that death-certificate data shows 1,181 fatalities were directly due to the virus.
That’s an increase of 15 deaths of people who had the virus and 13 additional fatalities tied directly to COVID-19 over Thursday’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.
To date, 25,613 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 have also confirmed outbreaks at 277 contained facilities across the state, including nursing homes, jails and factories. That’s five 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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