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Serious COVID cases on the rise in Colorado as well as nationally

Serious COVID cases on the rise in Colorado and nationally
Serious COVID cases on the rise in Colorado and nationally 01:56

Colorado health officials are watching COVID numbers as serious cases are on the rise across the country. 

They've seen a slight uptick in COVID hospitalizations this month.

Colorado's current average hospital admissions are hovering around 70, up from about 63 hospitalizations per week in July.

Those numbers are an improvement compared to numbers this time just last summer, let alone at the height of the pandemic.

"I thought it was over. I thought it was done," CBS News Colorado photographer Dale Atchison said. He made it all the way through the pandemic until last week when he tested positive for COVID.

"I didn't get a fever until day two and then I got a fever and a headache," he said.

Around the country testing positivity rates have increased as we go through the fourth summer with the virus present.

"We've seen an uptick in COVID cases recently, not just in the community, but also an uptick in the hospitalizations," Dr. Jaya Kumar, chief medical officer at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, told CBS News Colorado.

But she adds that with so many people vaccinated, we are better equipped to deal with COVID than before. 

"Cases of COVID-19 have been increasing since the end of June, with approximately 107 cases reported daily (the 7-day average as of Aug. 12)," a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said. "Hospitalization rates have remained relatively low throughout the summer. However, a slight uptick is occurring in August. Colorado is experiencing an increase in COVID-19, similar to the country overall, as seen in our hospitalization and sentinel percent positivity data. Thankfully, however, hospitalizations remain low overall."

A new booster to deal with the most recent variants is expected soon.

"That booster hopefully comes out at the end of September or early October, so I would highly recommend everyone get that booster who is eligible," said Kumar.

There's currently no call for a return to masks except for those highly at risk. The virus can spread easily, even to your spouse.

"She got COVID after me, so she's still in bed with sickness," Atchison explained, referring to his wife.

If you are feeling ill, and have those home COVID testing kits according to doctors, they should still be OK to use.

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