Colorado health officials reported Friday that 1,324 people who had contracted COVID-19 have died since the new coronavirus was first confirmed in the state, and that death certificate data shows 1,088 deaths were directly due to the virus.
That's an increase of 14 deaths from people with the virus, and 26 more deaths from COVID-19, during the counts from the day before, though it doesn't mean that all deaths occurred in one day. There is a delay in reporting deaths to the state health department, particularly death certificate data.
Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment renewed the way it reports deaths related to the new coronavirus, listing the total number of deaths in which the person had the virus, as well as the number of deaths that they have been directly attributed to COVID -19 on a death certificate.
There have been 4,082 people hospitalized since the outbreak was first confirmed in the state in early March, although only 444 people were hospitalized with symptoms of the disease as of Friday afternoon, state data shows. At least 48 people since Thursday have either gone home or been transferred to a lower level of care, such as a rehabilitation center.
Additionally, as of Thursday, there were 339 critical care ventilators across the state, compared with 463 a month ago, according to state data.
To date, 23,487 people have tested positive or believed to have COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the virus, although health officials have said the actual number is closer to 167,000.
Authorities recorded 3,608 tests Thursday when the state increases its capabilities to better track the virus. The testing rate, 63.7 tests per 100,000 people per day, has dramatically improved since the start of the pandemic, but it falls short of the 152 per 100,000 daily number that health experts say is necessary to monitor the outbreak safely. .
Much of the testing has focused on senior facilities and other care homes, though Governor Jared Polis announced Monday that anyone in the state who shows symptoms of COVID-19 can now be tested free. Authorities have confirmed outbreaks at 260 contained facilities across the state, including nursing homes, jails, and factories. That's four more than the day before.
The state health department announces new daily totals for coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases based on what was reported in Colorado counties; Although deaths and positive test results may be announced on a particular day, they may have occurred at any time in the past and are now being reported to the state.