COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- According to El Paso County Public Health's own website data page on Tuesday, COVID cases were on the rise, while hospitalizations were taking a sharp decline.
The following graphs were taken from El Paso County's COVID-19 metrics page on Tuesday morning. One graph displays the one-week incidence rate for COVID-19 cases in El Paso County, while the second provides the 7-day average number of daily hospital admissions:
According to the graph, the 7-day average for new COVID-19 patients was down fifty percent, but at the same time the COVID-19 incidence rate was up 35%. KRDO asked El Paso County Public Health how case numbers can rise while new COVID-19 hospitalizations could fall.
“The pressures of the hospitals are increasing just as the incidence is increasing,” reassured Stephen Goodwin, the Chief Data Scientist for the El Paso County Public Health.
“It takes some time for data to load in," said Fadi Youkhana, also with El Paso County Health's office of data. "Hospitalizations are lagging behind even further.”
Health experts in El Paso County tell KRDO the 'lag' for the data pertaining to new COVID-19 hospitalizations is exacerbated by the holiday weekend.
The 7-day average for daily hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients is down to 39% instead of 50%. Meanwhile the one-week incidence number has fallen from 299 COVID-19 cases per 100k residents to approximately 267.
According to El Paso County, COVID-related inpatients at Penrose St. France, UCHealth, and Children's Hospital Colorado have risen steadily since July, from 77 confirmed COVID-19 patients in July to 127 cases last Friday.
El Paso County Health fully expects their own hospitalization numbers to rise fairly quickly in the coming days and weeks.
“Remember that we just had a big holiday weekend," said Goodwin. "There is a lot more activity lot more activity means the virus can spread.”
"Centura Health hospitals, like other hospital systems in Colorado and elsewhere, have seen an increase in COVID-19 patients due to the Delta variant," said a spokesperson for Centura Health. "Locally, we are holding steady in our number of admissions and have not seen a significant drop in COVID-19 patients."