Coronavirus Cases Rise In Colorado After Thanksgiving, Just Like Health Officials Warned

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Denver’s drive-through coronavirus testing facility in the parking lot of Paco Sanchez Park just off Federal Boulevard was busy on Nov. 18, 2020, ahead of Thanksgiving.

Experts warned Coloradans that Thanksgiving gatherings and travel over the holiday could lead to big increases in COVID-19 infections across the state. The numbers released Monday afternoon show that there was cause for concern.

Data from Sunday shows that the percent of people who tested positive out of all of the tests conducted rose by nearly 2 percentage points to just above 12 percent after falling for several days in a row.

Also, the number of positive tests — out of the total number of tests taken — rose after dropping for four days in a row. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 also rose slightly to 1,779, but remains well below the high of 1,995 earlier this month.

Data also shows the week of Thanksgiving was the deadliest week of the pandemic so far with 243 deaths. The week before the holiday was the second deadliest with 241 fatalities.

The data comes as the first vaccines are expected to arrive in Colorado as early as the end of this week. The initial vaccines will be given to in-patient health care workers. State officials are still working out the exact order of which groups will get the vaccine first, but first responders and nursing home residents are also expected to be at the top of the list.

State officials said it won’t be until several months into next year that the state will be able to administer enough vaccines to impact immunity in Colorado.