Colorado sees 1st decline in COVID-19 cases since June

(Terri Russell)
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 8:33 AM MDT
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DENVER (KKTV) - Coronavirus cases are down in Colorado for the first time in several weeks, according to new data by the state health department.

Cases dropped by 18 percent last week following six weeks of increases.

Prior to dipping, cases soared to highs not seen since the spring, with the last full week of July surpassing April’s peak. Because those infected tended to be younger than those with the virus in April and May, hospitalizations have remained significantly lower in the summer (peaking at 275 in late July versus 888 in April). Even so, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 still rose in July from an all-time low of 126 in late June. As of last week, that data also showed a decline.

Gov. Jared Polis said the decrease in both cases and hospitalizations is in part due to the statewide mask mandate that went into effect July 17, as well as an earlier “last call” at Colorado restaurants and bars implemented about a week later. The governor said Colorado has jumped from 70 percent mask usage to 90 percent since the mandate went into effect, while cases among those in their 20s and 30s appeared to be going down since last call for alcohol was moved to 10 p.m.

Polis said in a news briefing Tuesday that “by and large” Coloradans were making good decisions.

“That’s borne out by the data,” he said.

He said the state needed to be ready to dig in and live in the way they had been recently for the long-term.

“We adapt and we do things in new and safer ways. And I think that the balance of the last couple of weeks, week or two, is what we need to be prepared to live that way for several months, hopefully minimizing disruption to schools and sports and our jobs and being able to enjoy ourselves and live a fulfilling life while humanity tackles and ultimately defeats this virus.”

As of Tuesday, confirmed cases in Colorado since the start of the outbreak stood at 48,394. Just over 1,700 people have died directly due to the virus.

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