In latest coronavirus data, Colorado researchers can glimpse the end of the pandemic |

In latest coronavirus data, Colorado researchers can glimpse the end of the pandemic

As long as the state maintains current levels of social distancing, the risk of overrunning hospitals has likely passed, according to new modeling projections

John Ingold
The Colorado Sun
Aspen Valley Hospital clinical pharmacist Kelly Atkinson organizes the empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in the command unit trailer set up next to the vaccination tent in the Benedict Music Tent parking lot in Aspen on Jan. 14, 2021. To keep track of the empty vials, the pharmacists labeled them with individual numbers. Before the vaccine is diluted, the unused vial of vaccine looks identical to the vials after the doses have been taken out.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

This is how the coronavirus pandemic will end in Colorado: perhaps with a final surge but likely in a long, gradual decline, like springtime snow receding from a mountainside.

As vaccinations pick up across the state, giving protection to the most at-risk, the chance of hospitals being overwhelmed shrinks, according to a new modeling report released Tuesday. If Coloradans continue to maintain the current levels of social distancing and mask-wearing, the peaks of the pandemic are behind us. If the state remains vigilant, not even the more transmissible U.K. variant of the virus that has been found in Colorado can change this trajectory.

Public health leaders are still cautious — the coronavirus has pulled tricks before and much depends on whether Coloradans do their part. But the leaders are also increasingly optimistic: This is the downhill slope.

“What I’ve been saying is we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Elizabeth Carlton, a professor at the Colorado School of Public Health who is one of the researchers working to create modeling projections for the course of the pandemic in the state. “I think it would take a pretty dramatic increase of the variant and a pretty dramatic increase in contacts for us to get to a point where we’re concerned about hospital capacity being exceeded. So a lot would have to happen.”

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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