New COVID Variants Rise in Colorado Update

On October 10, the Colorado School of Public Health released a model report for COVID-19 that described the disease outlook in the state as uncertain for the remainder of the year, given the potential for new variants to emerge. Now, ten days later, the most recent statistics from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicate that two such mutations could be slowly taking hold in the state, one of which is by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. . Anthony Fauci.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s COVID cases, hospitalizations, positivity rate, and outbreaks have increased from the previous week.

Here are the state’s health department’s latest numbers in key categories, updated after Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. They are juxtaposed with data from our previous COVID-19 collection, which came from October 12 statistics:

1,666,327 cases (over 4,682 vs October 12)
69,303 hospitalized (up to 222 from October 12)
13,378 deaths among cases (24 higher than October 12)
14,093 deaths from COVID-19 (28 vs. 12 October)
9,852 outbreaks (18 versus October 12)

Four takeaways:

• The number of new cases of 4,682 is greater than the 4,133 registered on October 12; the 798 on October 18 was the week’s highest daily count. Both numbers are a surprise, as many Coloradans confirm infections using home testing kits that are not considered official by the CDPHE, and do not even report the results.

• Hospitalization statistics, which have been trending downward for the past month or more, rose in three metrics. The total number of hospital admissions on October 19 increased by 222 over the previous seven days, compared to 143 for the week ending October 12. Similarly, the 179 patients admitted to the hospital during the week of Oct. 18 were larger than the 165 on Oct. 11, and daily admissions averaged 38, compared to 36 a week earlier.

• The statistics on the number of fatalities have remained fairly stable. The number of deaths among the cases went from twenty on October 12 to 24 on October 19, but the number of deaths attributed to the disease fell from 32 to 28 over the same period.

• On October 12, the state’s seven-day average positivity rate slipped to 5.07 percent, slightly above the 5 percent level preferred by the CDPHE; a week later, the rate stands at 6.18 percent. Meanwhile, samples sequenced by the CDPHE for the week of September 25 show that Omicron 5 continues to dominate, accounting for 80.17 percent of cases. But BA.4.6, a variation of Omicron 4, nearly doubled in a week to reach 12.07 percent, and two new variations, BF.7 and BQ.1, at 2.59 percent each. Last week, BF.7 registered a trail of sampled infections (0.02098), while BF.7 didn’t register at all.

BF.7 was identified in the Chinese region of Mongolia in recent weeks and has since surfaced in India, Europe and the United States; it is extremely transmissible and is believed to cause infection with a lower viral load than previous variants. BQ.1 and the related BQ.1.1, which has not yet been identified in Colorado, are spin-offs of Omicron 5 that have caught Fauci’s attention. In an interview with CBS News, he said, “When you get variants like that, you look at their rate of increase as a relative proportion of the variants, and this has a pretty tricky doubling time.”

Also, a doubling was due to new or modified outbreaks made public by the CDPHE; they went from 17 on Oct. 12 to 34 in the Oct. 19 report. They are dominated by healthcare facilities specializing in aged care, and all but two of them have experienced at least one previous outbreak. Sites in Jefferson County are responsible for nine of the outbreaks, by far the most for any borough this week.

Here are the 34 new or modified outbreaks identified by the CDPHE on Oct. 19, including information about categories, country of origin, and the date the spread was officially recognized. The department no longer provides details about the total number of infections or deaths and whether it concerns residents, employees or those present.

1. Applewood Place (23D467): October 2022, healthcare, assisted living, Jefferson County, 10/10/2022
2. Arbor View Assisted Living (230413): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 10/13/2022
3. Ardent Health and Rehabilitation Center (020410): October 2022, Health Care, Nursing Facility, Adams County, 10/11/2022
4. Arvada Care and Rehabilitation Center (020415): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Jefferson County, 10/13/2022
5. Balfour Retirement Community (2303H2), Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 10/6/2022
6. Bear Creek Senior Living SNF (0205VM): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, El Paso County, 10/7/2022
7. Boulder County Jail: October 2022, Boulder County Jail, 10/13/2022
8. Brookdale Broadmoor (2305CK): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, El Paso County, 10/19/2022
9. Brookdale El Camino (2306MT): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Pueblo County, 10/11/2022
10. Brookdale Meridian Englewood (23N600): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Arapahoe County, 10/7/2022
11. Brookside Rehabilitation and Wellness (02YWQ1): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Douglas County, 5/10/2022
12. Desert Willow Health and Rehabilitation Center (020675): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Pueblo County, 10/18/2022
13. Family Health West Memory Care (231128): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Mesa County, 10/14/2022
14. Good Samaritan Society – Simla (020597): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Home, Elbert County, 10/17/2022
15. Grand Junction Regional Center-House 10 (0511EM): October 2022, Healthcare, Intermediate Care, Mesa County, 10/11/2022
16. Greenridge Place (23Y387): October 2022, healthcare, assisted living, Jefferson County, 10/14/2022
17. Heritage Park Care Center (020845): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Garfield County, 10/6/2022
18. Junction Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center (021299): October 2022, Health Care, Nursing Facility, La Plata County, 10/11/2022
19. La Plata County Prison, Jail, La Plata County, 10/10/2022
20. La Villa Grande Care Center (021161): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Mesa County, 10/4/2022
21. Lakewood Reserve (23R738): October 2022, healthcare, assisted living, Jefferson County, 4/10/2022
22.Lit’l Patch of Heaven Inc. (230435): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Adams County, 10/6/2022
23. Northglenn Heights Residential Community (230430): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Adams County, 10/14/2022
24. Ridge Pinehurst LLC (23Q698): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Jefferson County, 10/13/2022
25. Rowan Community, Inc (020459): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Home, Denver County, 10/17/2022
26. Seneff House (05U325), Healthcare, RCFDD Group Home, Pueblo County, 10/11/2022
27. Sierra Rehabilitation and Care Community (020423): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Jefferson County, 10/5/2022
28. Sopris Lodge in Carbondale (23TDI7): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Garfield County, 10/17/2022
29. Springs Village Care Center (020535): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Home, El Paso County, 10/5/2022
30. The Carillon at Boulder Creek Assisted Living (23V719): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 10/11/2022
31. The Legacy at Sterling (23P250): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Logan County, 11/10/2022
32. The Peaks at Old Laramie Trail (23V340): October 2022, Healthcare, Assisted Living, Boulder County, 12/10/2022
33. Western Hills Health Care Center (020438): October 2022, Healthcare, Nursing Facility, Jefferson County, 10/14/2022
34. Wheat Ridge Regional Center – House A (060408): October 2022, Healthcare, Intermediate Care, Jefferson County, 10/6/2022

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