COLORADO March 25, 2020 COVID-19 Update

from the @CDPHE:

Confirmed cases surpassed 1,000 and the positive test rate is up to about 12%. What do I think this means? More test kits available, and tests are still being preferentially used to screen high-risk clients. Not at all enough tests to go around for community trace and track.

Don’t get too optimistic, but here’s the slope of confirmed positives by date. No way the right tail of the histogram is accurate yet. Positive tests are tabulated from multiple state, private, and hypothetically CDC labs. Reporting is accurate but not instant. The numbers for 3/24, 3/23, 3/22 (etc) will still grow some. Ironically, the confirmed positive rate could go down if we ran out of testing kits again. OTOH, Colorado already counts a positive if the disease after investigation looks like and smells like COVID-19 even without a positive test. Good news, bad news? Who knows.

The positive rate in Gunnison County is out of this world. Gunnison’s 300/100K is the same rate as the average of the NYC metro area. (NYC has 30,000 cases in 10 mil people). Interestingly, Summit County’s positive test ratio collapsed (a good thing) compared to just a few days ago. If it’s accurate, this could suggest that they have more testing available than other parts of the state. Since the pandemic hit Summit County and the environs first, it would have made sense to prioritize testing there first.

Hospitalizations and deaths look metastable… these numbers trail the date of infection by one to two weeks. The hospitals are not at all secure from being overwhelmed, especially in Central Colorado. Central Colorado cases will backfill into the metro area (as they should) when the mountain hospitals fill. In Colorado with a pandemic, we have to imagine hospitals as a statewide resource, and not a city or regional resource.