By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis ordered flags lowered to half-staff through Friday on all Colorado public buildings to honor the 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris held a candle lighting ceremony on Monday to mark the grim milestone.

President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff hold a moment of silence and candle lighting during a ceremony to honor lives lost to COVID-19 at the White House on Monday. (credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“More Americans who have died in a single year of this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined,” said President Biden. “On this solemn occasion, we reflect on their loss and on their loved ones left behind. We, as a Nation, must remember them so we can begin to heal, to unite, and find purpose as one Nation to defeat this pandemic.”

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Since the pandemic started, Colorado has recorded 5,723 deaths due to COVID-19. Daily case numbers are decreasing in the state and confirmed hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients dropped below 400 for the first time in Colorado since mid-October.

(credit: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment)

“As a community, we grieve with the families who have lost a friend, parent or loved one to this deadly virus. As Coloradans, we honor the lives of our fellow Americans and reflect upon the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Gov. Polis. “Together, we can avoid more devastating loss by wearing masks, avoiding social gatherings, and washing our hands, as we get more vaccines into more arms and end this crisis.”

Nearly 15% of Colorado’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 7% of the state has received both doses, according to the New York Times.

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

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Vaccines (Phase 1A & 1B):

  • 845 Total Vaccine Providers
  • 801,329 People Immunized with One Dose
  • 388,490 People Immunized with Two Doses
  • 1,181,200 Cumulative Doses Distributed
  • 1,191,259 Cumulative Doses Administered
  • 8,229 Doses administered on Feb. 21

Testing:

  • 13,637 tests conducted on Feb. 21 with 3.60% positivity rate (7-day moving average)
  • 4.61% daily positivity rate on Feb. 21

Hospital Data:

  • 392 Patients currently hospitalized, 82% of facilities reporting (-7)
  • 41 Patients under investigation for probable cases, not lab confirmed (+0)
  • 48 Patients discharged/transferred in past 24 hours (+2)
  • 10% Facilities anticipating staff shortages within next week (-1%)
  • 1% Facilities anticipating PPE shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 2% Facilities anticipating ICU bed shortages within next week (-1%)
  • 27% Critical care ventilators in use (+0)
  • 75% of ICU Beds in use (434 available)

Case Summary:

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  • 421,294 cases (+680)
  • 86 Variants of concern (+0)
  • 36 Variants under investigation (+0)
  • 23,183 hospitalized (+14)
  • 2,537,701 tested (+4,430)
  • 6,026,476 test encounters (+15,137)
  • 5,893 deaths among cases (+1)
  • 5,723 deaths due to COVID-19 (+4)
  • 3,817 outbreaks (+11)

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updates COVID-19 data each day at: covid19.colorado.gov/data.

Audra Streetman