Impact Of Thanksgiving Unclear As Hospitalizations Decline But Remain High

Health officials say it’s possible the impact of Thanksgiving may not show up in the data until the end of this week or early next week. Another possibility, they say, is that proactive steps taken before the holiday are suppressing or decreasing the impact of holiday gatherings.

Colorado health officials say it could still be too early to know the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings on the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases in the state. The number of people hospitalized with the virus in Colorado peaked in early December, then began to gradually decline.

On Thursday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 1,545 hospital patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“Clearly, we’re still seeing very high levels of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 occurring in the state. Certainly the highest that we’ve seen seen since the beginning of the pandemic,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy. “We do seem to have seen a little bit of a decline in the last couple of days, and that’s good to see.”

Transmission of the virus peaked in mid-November and ever since, the daily increase in cases appears to have plateaued, officials say.

“These numbers seem to be a bit unstable, meaning that the numbers are going up and down every couple of days. But overall, it does appear that we’re in some sort of a high plateau, with the amount of COVID-19 transmission that’s occurring in the state,” said Dr. Herlihy.

On Thursday, Colorado surpassed 3,000 deaths due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Officials say the daily increase in deaths varies due to a lag in reporting by medical certifiers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDPHE explains that newly-reported deaths do not all happen on the same day or even the same week, but can be counted among several weeks in the past. The state updates COVID-19 deaths among cases by date of death on covid19.colorado.gov/data under the case summary tab.

COVID-19 Data as of 4 p.m. on Thursday:


  • 50,721 tests conducted on Dec. 9 with 11.23% positivity rate (7-day moving average)
  • 9.61% daily positivity rate on Dec. 9

Hospital Data:

  • 1,545 Patients currently hospitalized, 97% of facilities reporting (-20)
  • 114 Patients under investigation for probable cases, not lab confirmed (-5)
  • 241 Patients discharged/transferred in past 24 hours (+36)
  • 29% Facilities anticipating staff shortages within next week (+1%)
  • 1% Facilities anticipating PPE shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 9% Facilities anticipating ICU bed shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 47% Critical care ventilators in use (+0%)
  • 79% of ICU Beds in use (360 available)

Case Summary:

  • 276,995 cases (+4,649)
  • 15,656 hospitalized (+136)
  • 1,914,803 tested (+15,233)
  • 3,642,518 test encounters (+50,721)
  • 3,759 deaths among cases (+120)
  • 3,005 deaths due to COVID-19 (+72)
  • 2,558 outbreaks (+32)

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