By Rick Sallinger

(CBS4) – Two years into the exhausting and horrible COVID pandemic, Colorado’s state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy had something positive to report.

“The news this week is more good news. It does look like we are continuing to see the downward trajectory,” she told reporters on Thursday.

The percentage of people in the state testing positive for COVID is now down to a still very high 22%, about one in in every five.

Hospitalization likewise is heading downward as are case numbers.

Scott Bookman the state COVID incident commander told reporters, “We do want to stress that there are a lot of patients in the hospitals with COVID. Our health care workforce still does remain under stress.”

But he points out that the number of available beds in hospitals is improving.

Colorado has now distributed 2.4 million medical grade masks, and this comes as Denver’s mask mandate for indoor use expires next week.

“The number of infections that are occurring are still quite high and I think it’s always important to keep in mind when we think about an epidemic curve is we go up and when we get to the peak and that means we are only halfway there.”

And eyes are on the wastewater reports. Testing shows COVID levels down, but there may be a wild card lurking. That’s a subvariant of omicron called BA.2. So far only one case has been reported in Denver.

Herlihy responded to a question CBS4 posed about whether someone can get COVID if they’ve already had it once.

“We know that probably short term there is good protection, but what we don’t understand is as you get further and further out what your level of protection might be,” she said.

Rick Sallinger