By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado health officials are urging everyone to cancel gatherings with people they don’t live with, including Thanksgiving gatherings. Officials said now is the time to take every precaution, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in the state.

(credit: CBS)

“We also need people to wear a mask anytime they must go outside their house– and keep physical distance– at least 6 feet — from others they may encounter,” said officials on Monday with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Our healthcare systems are already nearing capacity. Again, we are asking everyone to buckle down and cancel gatherings with people they don’t live with.”

The number of Colorado hospital patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased to nearly 1,600 on Monday. More people are hospitalized with the virus than ever before in the state.

(credit: CDPHE)

The latest modeling report from CDPHE estimates 1 in 49 people is currently infected and contagious with the virus.

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Deaths due to COVID-19 increased by 101 on Monday. Health officials said these deaths did not necessarily happen on the same day or even in the same week, but were likely counted in the last several weeks.

CDPHE says there are several factors related to the reporting of COVID-19 deaths that can explain the increase:

  1. Lag in the initial cause of death determination by medical certifiers and registration of death certificates
  2. Lag in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s processing of cause of death information collected on death certificates into analytic form used to generate the state’s daily statistics
  3. The CDC does not update the number of deaths due to COVID-19 on weekends

“Given the increase in deaths nationwide, we understand that his lag has grown again potentially to several weeks as CDC processes Colorado’s and other states’ data,” stated CDPHE. “This is often done on a ‘batch’ mode by the state, which can result in large increases after periods of stagnant numbers.”

Health officials said deaths ultimately lag behind positive tests, case diagnoses and hospitalizations. Deaths due to COVID-19 represent the most severe outcome of the pandemic, which officials said is increasing in tandem with other metrics like hospitalizations.

RELATED: COVID In Colorado: Emergency Alert Warns Coloradans Of ‘Severe Risk’

Colorado COVID-19 Data, as of 4 p.m. Monday:

Testing:

  • 46,130 tests conducted on Nov. 22 with 11.83% positivity rate (7-day moving average)
  • 11.07% daily positivity rate on Nov. 22

Hospital Data:

  • 1,597 Patients currently hospitalized, 93% of facilities reporting (+58)
  • 114 Patients under investigation for probable cases, not lab confirmed (-17)
  • 187 Patients discharged/transferred in past 24 hours (+4)
  • 33% Facilities anticipating staff shortages within next week (-2%)
  • 1% Facilities anticipating PPE shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 10% Facilities anticipating ICU bed shortages within next week (-1%)
  • 47% Critical care ventilators in use (+0%)
  • 80% of ICU Beds in use (338 available)

Case Summary:

  • 202,289 cases (+3,689)
  • 12,526 hospitalized (+42)
  • 1,630,871tested (+19,307)
  • 2,901,740 test encounters (+46,130)
  • 2,810 deaths among cases (+4)
  • 2,456 deaths due to COVID-19 (+101)
  • 1,925 outbreaks (+17)

Audra Streetman