By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – A new modeling report finds the number of COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Colorado. The report estimates 1 in 115 Coloradans are currently infectious with the virus, which is nearly 1% of the state population.

(credit: CBS)

The infection rate is similar to April, when the virus transmission first peaked in Colorado. The state’s effective reproductive number is at 0.83, which shows the spread of COVID-19 is declining.

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Researchers updated the modeling report to examine the possible spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, which is considered more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain.

“If the B.1.1.7 variant spreads as rapidly in Colorado as in the United Kingdom, high levels of transmission control and/or vaccination will be critical to avoiding another large surge in hospital demand,” the modeling report states.

(credit: CBS)

According to the report, hospital demand and cases are expected to decline, but it could take three months before infection prevalence is comparable to last summer. The report also found transmission control has dropped to 78% from 82% two weeks ago.

“The slowed decline in infections may be due to a holiday bump or changes in policy implemented in the new year,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment stated in a news release.

The modeling report also found that if the B.1.1.7 variant spreads as rapidly in Colorado as in the United Kingdom, high levels of transmission control and/or vaccination will be critical to avoiding a surge in hospital demand.

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The group behind the modeling projections is made up of scientists and researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado School of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, as well as experts from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado State University.

 CDPHE COVID-19 Data as of 4 p.m. Wednesday:

Vaccines (Phase 1A & 1B):

  • 619 Total Vaccine Providers
  • 393,626 People Immunized with One Dose
  • 98,301 People Immunized with Two Doses
  • 492,188 Cumulative Doses Administered

Testing:

  • 26,824 tests conducted on Jan. 26 with 5.01% positivity rate (7-day moving average)
  • 4.84% daily positivity rate on Jan. 26

Hospital Data:

  • 662 Patients currently hospitalized, 92% of facilities reporting (-12)
  • 62 Patients under investigation for probable cases, not lab confirmed (-4)
  • 98 Patients discharged/transferred in past 24 hours (-6)
  • 11% Facilities anticipating staff shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 1% Facilities anticipating PPE shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 9% Facilities anticipating ICU bed shortages within next week (+1%)
  • 31% Critical care ventilators in use (+0%)
  • 75% of ICU Beds in use (432 available)

Case Summary:

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  • 390,258 cases (+1,638)
  • 21,610 hospitalized (+48)
  • 2,368,241 tested (+7,050)
  • 5,310,316 test encounters (+30,453)
  • 5,552 deaths among cases (+35)
  • 4,881 deaths due to COVID-19 (+64)
  • 3,474 outbreaks (+46)

For more information, visit covid19.colorado.gov/data.

Audra Streetman