COVID has hospitalized twice as many Coloradans as the flu since October

DENVER — While COVID-19 didn’t push Colorado hospitals to the brink this fall and winter, the virus still hospitalized more than twice as many people as the flu, and it’s unclear if this will be the new normal.

Since Oct. 1, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has reported 3,040 flu hospitalizations and 7,877 COVID-19 hospitalizations. And while hospital admissions for influenza have not exceeded 20 in a week since early February, those related to COVID-19 have been much slower to decline, with 226 admissions recorded in the week of April 16.

The state does not specifically track flu deaths, making exact comparisons impossible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 450 to 700 people die from the flu or pneumonia each flu season in Colorado, while 1,032 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 since early October.

Epidemiologists disagree on whether humans and the virus that causes COVID-19 have reached some kind of detente, where it can no longer create massive disruption, although it remains a threat to vulnerable people. Colorado saw small waves in the summer and fall of 2022 as new variants emerged and people’s behavior patterns changed, but they did not approach levels that threatened care capacity. health, as in 2020 and 2021.

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