News Bites – February 11, 2021
- Total Cases: 18,363 (+498 from last week)
- Total Cases in Berthoud: 794 (+22 from last week)
- Deaths: 190
- New positive cases in 24 hours: 67
- 14-Day Case Rate per 100k: 246
- Hospital Utilization: 69%
- ICU Utilization: 75%
- 14-Day test positivity rate: 4.8
- Risk Score: Medium
- 5.06% of the population of Larimer County has been reported to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus comprise 1.03% of reported cases. Of reported deaths 26% were age 75 to 84 and 51% were 85 and older.
*Case numbers as of Feb. 9 2021.
***During a news conference Tuesday Gov. Jared Polis announced that Colorado would receive 9,000 more weekly doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the next three weeks.
Doses will be sent to 25 pharmacies and community health centers.
Polis said that the state is three-quarters of the way to the goal of vaccinating 70% of Coloradans age 70 and older by the end of the month.
For information about the current COVID-19 vaccines call the vaccine call center at 1-877-268-2926. Callers can choose to receive a courtesy callback instead of waiting. If they do so, it will show up as that same number.
Coloradans with internet access could also use covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine.
****According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment there are 41 COVID-19 variant cases confirmed in the state and 16 cases are under investigation. A large commercial lab reported many of these new results and they are from specimens collected between Jan. 11 – 26. Approximately 7,500 positive cases were reported from that same lab during that time frame. The new data includes 20 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern and 10 cases of the L452R variant. Beginning today, CDPHE will separate variants of concern from other variants under investigation in the case summary snapshot on the COVID-19 dashboard. The state has confirmed a total of 33 variants of concern and 13 variants under investigation.
Because viruses are constantly changing, it is normal to see variants appear over time. Public health officials have documented multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes a variant of concern as one that spreads easier, causes more severe disease, reduces the effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or is harder to detect using current tests. Current variants of concern circulating in the United States include B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1. Only the B.1.1.7 variant of concern has been found in Colorado. Other variants, like L452R, show different characteristics of the original virus, but they are still under investigation and are being studied to understand their significance.
CDPHE screens all positive COVID-19 samples submitted to the state lab for the B.1.1.7 variant, representing approximately 10-15% of total positive tests statewide. With other laboratories now able to identify certain characteristics associated with variant viruses, approximately 30% of the state’s positive cases are being screened for the B.1.1.7 variant. Screening is the first step in discovering variants as that process can pick up on signature markers, such as the “S drop out profile” of the B.1.1.7 variant. In addition, CDPHE performs viral genome sequencing on approximately 3% of total positive tests statewide to look for variants other than B.1.1.7. While variant cases still remain low, only a sampling of COVID-19 tests across the state are sequenced. These cases may not represent the total number of variant cases circulating in Colorado.
****After meeting with local public health agencies, county commissioners, mayors, and city managers, as well as taking feedback via a public web form, the state has introduce a new version of the dial tool. Dial 2.0 went into effect Saturday, Feb. 6.
“Dial 2.0 is designed so that counties can swiftly move into more restrictive levels when their numbers go up, and more quickly into recovery when their numbers go down,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, CDPHE Executive Director. “Input from our partners helped us tailor the new dial to best serve the needs of Coloradans at the local level. Since the dial’s last major change in November, Colorado has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state. More people now have immunity to COVID-19, including people over 70 and frontline health care workers. This relieves the strain on our hospital system.”
Given the level of vaccinations occurring and decreasing COVID-19 rates, the range of incidence metrics in Dial 2.0 better reflect a balance between disease suppression and economic activity. Additionally, instead of looking at the numbers over a 14-day period, Dial 2.0 will consider metrics within a 7-day period — making the dial more responsive and flexible.
The new metrics for Dial 2.0 are as follows:
*Counties in Level Green must now have no more than 15 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week OR a comparable number cases in counties with under 20,000 people.
*Counties in Level Blue must now have between 15 and 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week.
*Counties in Level Yellow must now have between 100 and 300 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week. The rate of positive tests must be no more than 7.5%.
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