EL PASO COUNTY — There is concern in Colorado about COVID-19 cases again on the rise. El Paso County is one of the counties with increasing numbers.
County data also shows a more encouraging trend with the number of COVID related deaths. The numbers are getting smaller, including days with no deaths reported.
"The number of deaths has steadily gone down as vaccines have been introduced,” said Steve Goodwin who tracks data for El Paso County Public Health.
A further breakdown of data shows the most significant drop is among county residents in older age groups. Residents over the age of 70 were the first to get the vaccine. More than 70% of the group has been fully vaccinated. "What's happening is that that's manifesting itself in less deaths among that group of the 70, 80 and 90, and less hospitalizations," said Fadi Youkhana who is also part of the data team at El Paso County Public Health. Along with vaccines, credit is also given to medical teams working hard to figure out better ways to treat the virus.
The number of new incidents is counter to what is happening with death data. There has been a steady rise for several weeks. The vaccination rate in older people is keeping the ratio from this group small. It means younger people are driving the increase. “We've got a huge number of people who for whatever reason, either don't think it applies to them or too much of a headache they don't want to get vaccinated,” said Goodwin.
The differing data trends suggest a couple of messages. The first is evidence of progress. Next is a reminder to continue with prevention measures.