By Dr. Dave Hnida

(CBS4) – From the start, let me emphasize that what follows is not being presented as scientific research, or hard data. Instead, it is some personal observations of what I’m seeing evolve over the past several weeks with coronavirus in our state.

CBS4’s Dr. Dave Hnida during a telemedicine session. (credit: CBS)

As some of you may know, I’m doing telemedicine every day, meaning video and phone consultations with people in Colorado, as well as from around the country. And from where I sit, there looks to be a pattern with the virus in our state, and a noticeable correlation between the percentage of patients calling with COVID concerns and symptoms and the public health measures put in place by our local and state health departments, and government.

In some ways, it’s seems a real time mini-snapshot of what’s going on at ground level, rather than official case counts, hospitalizations, and test results (all of which are important, as well).

First, some percentages. And once again, this are mine, and not purely scientific or a reflection of what others are seeing in our state.

On a daily/weekly basis, the percentage of calls to me that involve COVID concerns, rather than other medical problems:

2/23-2/29—  30%

3/1-3/7—-     40%

3/8-3/14—    50%

3/15-3/21—  60%

3/22-3/28—  75%

3/29-4/4—    85%

4/5—-            95%

4/6—-            85%

4/7-4/9—       70%

4/10-4/16—   60%

 

Many with concerns on the earlier side seemed to be people who had traveled outside the state. Then came a bump in people who had been skiing in the high country. This was followed by more along the Front Range, especially Denver metro area. Following this, and currently, there have been more contacts from people outside of Front Range, especially in more rural counties. The past two weeks have also been heavier with people deemed essential workers, who have continued to leave home to go to the workplace.

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado
If you look at the dates of no-skiing, and stay-at-home orders, there has been a steady, consistent drop after a peak in the beginning of April at least when it comes to telemedicine requests. Many of these people were unable to get testing, so this may be one reason why many experts say we have “X” numbers of confirmed cases, but estimate there may be actually 10 times the number of probable, but unconfirmed numbers in Colorado.

All in all, it appears social distancing and stay-at-home orders are slowly paying dividends, and perhaps we have hit a peak and the curve is flattening, if not actually starting to inch downward.

Testing has obviously been a huge, and frustrating problem. And will be an even bigger deal as we try to slowly re-open businesses, and try to get life back some semblance of a new normal. Rushing back to complete normalcy using some arbitrary dates is a recipe for disaster. Our response needs to be cautious, and based on science, with consideration of the real life needs of our neighbors.

In the meantime, continue to do your part for yourself, your loved ones, as well as our community.

Common sense says thank you.

About The Colorado Stay-At-Home Order

Colorado’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus outbreak went into effect on the morning of March 26 and it is currently set to expire on April 26.

Coloradans are urged to stay in their own community and not travel for recreation or to get outside. Only essential businesses have been given the green light to keep in-person operations going, and those that remain open are required to keep in line with social distancing guidelines.

Dr. Dave Hnida

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