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Coronavirus in Colorado: 329 Deaths, 7,941 Confirmed Cases In The State

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado health officials believe social distancing and the statewide stay-at-home order are working. Officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said new data this week appears to show a slowing in the increase of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, and perhaps even a plateau.

covid cases cdphe
(credit: CDPHE)

In the next few days, officials expect to know if there is an actual decrease in the daily count of confirmed coronavirus cases. CDPHE is also looking at the modeling for what may happen when the state eventually lifts the stay-at-home order.

"We're just starting to observe the impact of the stay-at-home order in our case counts," said Scott Bookman, Incident Commander for CDPHE.

CDPHE confirmed 7,941 coronavirus cases and 329 deaths in the state Tuesday afternoon. More than 39,000 people have been tested for the virus in Colorado and 1,556 patients have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.

cdphe deaths by age
(credit: CDPHE)

CDPHE is working with Colorado hospitals to report the number of COVID-19 patients who are discharged. A spokesperson for the governor's office tells CBS4 that data should be available later in the week.

UCHealth hospitals report 370 of more than 620 COVID-19 patients have been discharged. UCHealth said 200 of those patients were at Denver-area hospitals.

"The rate of the number of cases is decreasing. There's still more cases, but the rate of increase has decreased, and the rate of discharge is increasing," explained Dr. Richard Zane, UCHealth's Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Emergency Medicine. "So, that's great news."

Bookman said coronavirus cases could peak in May or even later depending on what the state is able to achieve with social distancing over the next couple of weeks. So far, no hospitals in Colorado have passed their capacity to admit patients.

CDPHE officials said there may be a scaling back of the number of beds needed at hospitals and alternative care sites, but they are still seeking additional ventilators and personal protective equipment. Hospital administrators are reporting to the state that they have enough staff and ventilators for current patient volumes, but they are continuing to prepare in case there is a surge.

"We don't know what the future truly holds. And while the curve is flattening, we don't want to take our eye off the bigger picture. And we want to make sure that we have capacity built in case we see a surge in cases that overwhelms our health care system," said Bookman. "We're looking at it to really be that relief valve. If our hospitals need it."

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

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