‘This affects you,’ Gov. Polis says of COVID-19 increases


    Gov. Jared Polis speaks at the Governor's Mansion in Denver during a COVID-19 news briefing Oct. 9, 2020. (Governor Jared Polis Facebook)

    Colorado public health officials continue to report alarming trends in COVID-19 infections, and just about every demographic is at risk, said Gov. Jared Polis during an Oct. 9 news briefing.

    “I’m the most worried that I have been since early July,” Polis said, referring to a rise in infections Colorado experienced after the Fourth of July.

    Daily COVID-19 cases have remained above 500 through October and most of September, hitting a three-day average high of 683 on Oct. 2, whereas in much of August and early September daily cases generally ranged between the mid-200s and low-300s. There were 256 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 on Oct. 8, whereas on Sept. 8 that figure was 137.

    Polis emphasized during the news briefing that the virus can put people in the hospital no matter their gender, race, geography or age — though people under 20 are subject to a far lower rate of hospitalization. He said people have a tendency to believe an infection is something that other people suffer. “Guess what folks. It’s actually all of us,” he said. “This affects you.”

    Almost a quarter of all COVID-19 patients in the hospital are 60-69.

    Polis said patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are trending more young and white. Among COVID patients, 52% are white, whereas 68% of the Colorado population is white; 3.8% are Black, compared to 3.9% of the population; 29% are Hispanic, compared to 22% of the population.

    Infection trends in Colorado at the moment are not straining the capacity of hospitals, Polis said. But, he added, “The increase, if it continues at this rate, will threaten our capacity.”