Colorado obliterated its record for COVID-19 cases in a day, with more than 2,100 reported Sunday, Oct. 25, as the coronavirus approached or surpassed records in all parts of the state, and rising intensive care occupancy created new concerns about capacity.
Before this past weekend, Colorado had never recorded more than 1,267 new cases in a day. Then came Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when the state recorded 1,604, 1,594 and 2,102 cases on consecutive days. Those also coincided with three of the busiest testing days in the state since the start of the pandemic in March, with a record 31,847 tests reported administered on Sunday.
The growth in testing was almost bound to lead to a growth in cases uncovered, but the percentage of tests coming back positive, a reliable gauge of the direction the pandemic is taking, is also growing, just not as dramatically. The 7-day average positivity rate has grown from 3.36 percent to 6.67 percent just in October. At the peak in April, when testing was scarce but the virus was pervasive, more than 22 percent of COVID-19 tests returned a positive result.
The current growth in cases and positive tests is occurring despite repeated admonitions from public health officials and Gov. Jared Polis that the pandemic is not yet behind the state and that mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing remain critical strategies for keeping the virus in check and the economy open.
Polis will try again Tuesday, with a briefing for the state at 12:30 p.m. featuring patients who have survived the illness.