News in brief

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Colorado is increasing at an alarming rate, with 35 counties exceeding their assigned metrics on the dial.

“If the upcoming two weeks have the same rate of growth in hospitalizations that occurred the previous two weeks, Colorado will reach the same April-peak level of hospitalizations in early November,” states a press release from Pitkin County officials.

As is shown in models by Dr. Herlihy and the School of Public Health, there is a narrow span of time in which to reduce and reverse transmission levels before we enter the flu and holiday season and its increased indoor activity.

In acknowledgment to the escalation in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, amended it’s Safer at Home public health order today to limit personal gatherings in all counties to no more than 10 people from no more than two separate households.

“We are asking all Coloradans to act with an abundance of caution to reverse these worrying trends. Right now, the virus is spreading when people from multiple households attend gatherings. We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, CDPHE executive director. “Please take every effort to reduce contact with members of other households. If you can work remotely, please do so to reduce contact with other individuals. Taking action now can prevent your loved ones from getting sick, and help us save lives and avoid stricter public health orders in the future.”

With social gatherings and community exposures becoming more common in new COVID-19 cases — according to recent case investigation data — it suggests people have relaxed precautions of social distancing and are interacting more closely with other households.

In addition, Coloradans should continue wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently, and keeping at least a six foot distance from others outside their household.