EL PASO COUNTY — "We knew we were going to see significant cases of Omicron," said El Paso County Public Health, Interim Medical Director, Dr. Chris Urbina. Like much of the nation, COVID infections in Southern Colorado have shown a dramatic spike with the Omicron variant.
COVID-19 incidence numbers in El Paso County have more than doubled in one week. "This current seven-day ride we're on, it's a vertical line,” said El Paso County Public Health, Epidemiologist, Fadi Youkhana. The vertical line he mentions is on a graphic showing a new record high seven-day average of reported virus incidence. The number of people testing positive in El Paso County is up nearly 140% in just one week.
The current seven-day average is just over 770 incidences going into the first week of January 2022. It tops the previous seven-day high just of over 700 recorded back in the first week of December 2020.
"One important thing to mention is that everything we see only represents the detected cases," said Youkhana. People who have caught the virus, but either did not test or self-tested, do not show up in the data. Even without those unreported numbers, it is clear COVID is again spreading rapidly in the community.
"The significance of the contagiousness of this Omicron variant is important to note,” said Urbina, “The same strategies we've been using are still protective." The message from public health leaders is-- do not get casual about prevention. They stand behind the need to get fully vaccinated.
Pueblo County is sending the same message. Health leaders there, said infection numbers for December are still coming in, but they already know numbers have doubled within the past couple of weeks.