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Data shows COVID-19 impacts Southern Colorado counties differently

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Data compiled by 13 Investigates shows there are mysteries in how COVID-19 spreads in certain Southern Colorado communities.

A little over 15% of the more than 730,000 population in El Paso County has been infected with COVID-19. Meanwhile, health data shows that a significantly higher share of the population in Lincoln County --about 24% of the county's 5,675 residents-- has been infected with the virus amid the pandemic.

13 Investigates spoke with Glen Mays, a health policy professor at the Colorado School of Public Health about factors in the divide.

“Rural communities have achieved lower overall levels of vaccination coverage so that leaves more of the population at risk," Mays said.

Health officials say that may be the reason for more community spread in Lincoln County where 5 out of 10 residents are vaccinated, compared to 6 out of 10 residents who are vaccinated in El Paso County.

However, the same can't be said for Kiowa County. Data analyzed by 13 Investigates shows a little over 5% of the nearly 1,500 population have been infected with the coronavirus, but Kiowa County has a vaccination rate of less than 4 out of 10 residents.

“Those are some puzzling patterns and obviously there is a lot of uncertainty around what can explain those stark differences in community transmission," Mays said.

Experts say rural communities tend to have less access to major healthcare centers and public health departments, which can impact how COVID-19 impacts an area. Health officials also note that the population in rural areas tends to skew older.

“Rural communities are more likely to have underlying health conditions, diabetes, heart disease, abscesses, lung conditions that can really make it difficult to fight off infections," Mays said.

How and why COVID-19 impacts different areas of Southern Colorado is still being studied but health officials continue to tout the vaccine as the best form of protection.

“Even though we are two years into this pandemic, there is still a lot we don’t know and we’re still learning day by day," Mays said.

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.



    1. Many people infected with Covid lose their appetïtes and have mâssive weight losses. And yet he managed to survive, perhaps because he had weight to lose unlike many other people who suffer from malnourishment as a side-effect of Covid. Just goes to show that someone who looks “unhealthy” may not be so under all circümstances, although I would have also considered him to be obese based on the one picture.

  1. “Even though we are two years into this pandemic, there is still a lot we don’t know and we’re still learning day by day,”
    That’s the most accurate statement in the story. Like most real-life problems, there are more than a few variables which can affect the rates of infection and spread of a virus. For people who live in a black/white world it’s not easy to comprehend multiple shades of gray.

  2. “Even though we are two years into this pandemic, there is still a lot we don’t know and we’re still learning day by day,”

    That’s because we have Check here to make sure we are all well informed about…well…nothing specific. 😉

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Check…that’s all I’m going to say about that!

    1. They purposely withhold the data to keep everyone in the “fear” mode in order to get the vaccination numbers up. I wonder how much the Biden Family is making off this? Almost, everyone who is hospital bed is almost always obese and fat. I’ve seen very few people who on the outside appear healthy. When they say he/she is young and healthy, they almost always look very overweight in the picture. They are suppose to lose weight with this virus. The media gives out generic information like “8” people died with COVID, but they ever say, age, health condition prior to getting the virus, etc.. For all we know, they may not have died from COVID, but used that to get more funds.

  3. This just in from Brussels…get ready for it…get your fear towels out…keep spreading lies…ok here it is…As sociated Press…New omicron variant…who makes this up?.Oh no…not another…run and hide…get the phony “vax” it may work with the new variant…nope…didn’t work for the delta variant just made things worse.

      remove @ and replace with a
      WHO has far better info regarding this variant than the CDC has posted. The CDC ‘s info almost seems deliberate in lacking to mention that this variant appears to be vaccine resistant, and higher transmissibility. I’m sure this is just a oversight by the CDC and their stellar performance they have shown so far.

        “CDC also recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated”
        Did the CDC read the info regarding this variant at all?
        Info posted by WHO
        A SARS-CoV-2 VOC is a SARS-CoV-2 variant that meets the definition of a VOI (see above) and, through a comparative @ssessment, has been demonstrated to be @ssociated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance:
        -increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; OR
        -increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; OR
        -decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics

  4. A psychological condition of society known as “mas s formation” is a condition for totalitarianism. Under mas s formation, a population willingly sacrifices their freedom
    The central condition for mas s formation to occur is a lack of societal bonding. In other words, social isolation on a mas s scale, which is precisely what the lockdowns were all about. But even before the pandemic, social isolation was at a historical high
    The second condition is that a majority of people must experience life as meaningless and purposeless.
    The third condition is widespread free-floating anxiety and free-floating discontent. This refers to discontent and anxiety that have no apparent or distinct causes
    The fourth condition is free-floating frustration and aggression, which tends to naturally follow the previous three. Here, again, the frustration and aggression have no discernible cause
    Once these four conditions are widespread, mas s formation can occur, which allows for totalitarianism to rise and thrive. A key strategy to break mas s formation and prevent totalitarianism is for dissenters to join together as one large group, thereby giving fence-sitters who are not yet fully hypnotized an alternative to going along with the totalitarians. Another is to loudly speak out against the totalitarian regime, as this is how atrocities are limited

  5. What a BS article.
    “People in rural counties tend to have abscesses”, etc.)
    Maybe we all are getting natural immunity but the shots that never stop giving are causing Covid to have a happy big vector for infection and spreading.

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