Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for Jan. 18-Jan. 24, 2021

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More than 374,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,600 have been hospitalized as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccine FAQs | List of Colorado businesses that are open

Click here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Below, we’re updating this blog with the latest information regarding COVID-19 in Colorado.


Latest updates:

Monday, Jan. 18

4 p.m. | Hospitalizations continue to trend down; positivity rate now just above 5%

Hospitalizations for confirmed and suspected cases of the novel coronavirus continue to trend down across Colorado as the percentage of the number of tests that have come back positive over the past 7 days is now 5.41% – slightly above what federal, state and local health officials say is recommended to curb the spread of the disease.

376,171 cases (+1,190)
20,717 hospitalized (+30)
64 counties (+0)
2,301,784 people tested (+5,684)
5,032,041 test encounters (+24,915)
5,386 deaths among cases (+7)
4,502 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
3,295 outbreaks (+9)

The latest hospital data showed 862 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 17 fewer than Sunday with 96 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 80% of hospitals reporting. Sunday’s seven- and three-day average positivity rates in Colorado were 5.41% and 5.01%, respectively. Colorado’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Monday, 278,686 people have been immunized with one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 49,744 people have been immunized with two doses. There are 473 vaccine providers.

GRAPH: COVID-19 numbers as of January 18, 2021

3:53 p.m. | Gov. Polis orders hospitals to use second doses of COVID-19 vaccines right away

Some 40,000 Coloradans aged 70 and up will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine earlier than expected after Governor Jared Polis ordered hospitals to repurpose second doses of the vaccine as first doses.

In a letter to vaccine providers sent Monday, Gov. Polis said the state had received large quantities of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and instead of letting them sit on shelves to be applied as second doses, Polis ordered hospitals to get them into the arms of Coloradans who need them immediately.

“Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary efforts so I ask you to begin to actively manage your supply on a week to week basis, and do not let any vaccines sit on shelves,” Polis wrote in the letter, adding providers should only retain enough second doses for the week of Jan. 18-25.

The order outlined in Monday’s letter does not change who gets the shot first, meaning educators and other groups will still have to wait a little bit more before they can get vaccinated.

“The top priority right now is to get 70 year olds vaccinated as they account for 78% of the deaths in our state,” Polis said, adding the state is moving as quickly as it can to get 70% of Coloradans in that age group vaccinated by the end of February. “We expect that if federal supply continues to arrive in the state steadily, we may begin to vaccinate teachers in early March.”

Federal, state and local health officials recommend Coloradans receive the two doses of the same vaccine to make sure they have the best protection available against the virus.

Read the full story.

10:45 a.m. | State launches informational campaign on COVID-19 vaccine

On Monday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) launched the “Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Facts” campaign, which will focus on educating the public on how the vaccines are safe and effective.

The campaign emphasizes how Coloradans should rely on the CDPHE and other reliable sources for correct and up-to-date information on the vaccine.

CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan said with the distribution of the vaccines underway, they understand people have questions about it.

“It’s crucial to reach as many Coloradans as possible with fact-based information,” she said. “When it’s your turn to be vaccinated, we want you to be ready,”

The campaign will build awareness about where people can access trusted information, with an additional focus on communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic

The “Get the COVID-19 Facts” campaign will run statewide through March 31. To share messages from the “Get the COVID-19 Facts” campaign, like and follow CDPHE on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

10:01 a.m. | Douglas County School District town hall on Wednesday

Douglas County School District Superintendent Corey Wise will be hosting a community town hall Wednesday evening to talk about the return to in-person learning for middle and high school students. The town hall will start at 5:30 p.m. and go for about an hour.

You can RSVP here. To register and participate, click here.

8:24 a.m. | HealthONE will host virtual vaccine event

On Tuesday from 10-11 a.m., HealthONE will hold a free virtual event for people to learn more about the novel coronavirus, the vaccine and what to expect in 2021.

It will address questions such as:

  • How does the COVID-19 virus affect different systems in the body?
  • What types of vaccines are in current use and/or development?
  • How do they work and are they effective?
  • What can I do now if I have a chronic medical condition to have the best response to the vaccine?
  • Will I have to practice mask-wearing and social distancing after I receive the vaccine, and for how long?

Dr. Scott Joy, MD, Internal Medicine will leas the conversation. Click here to RSVP.

Click here for the COVID-19 live blog from Jan. 11-Jan. 17, 2021.