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El Paso County coronavirus death rate among highest in the US

EPC Meeeting PIc

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners here in El Paso county met with Dr. Leon Kelly, Deputy Medical Director for the Health Department, to help provide an update on the COVID-19 numbers locally.

According to Dr. Kelly, the case fatality rate here in El Paso County is among the highest in the nation at 5.2 percent.

“This isn’t about panic, this isn’t about terrifying people, this is about giving the citizens the accurate, true information so they can say yeah, I see it,” said Dr. Kelly.

Dr. Kelly would go onto stress the importance of social distancing saying this is on pace to be much worse than when H1N1 hit a decade ago.

“We’ve got 3,000 dead Americans. In all of the H1N1 in a two-year span, we lost 12,000 Americans. And so in essentially a month, we are well on our way to eclipsing those totals and probably will in the coming weeks.”

So the question now is if someone is infected, how does El Paso county respond?

“If one individual is positive, and we contact their contacts and one of their people is sick, then we have to reach out to that person's contacts ... and then we just continue to branch out that way,” said Dr. Kelly.

Kelly shows that overall, El Paso County is doing better in limiting the spread than other neighboring counties.

“Despite being the most populous county, we are well below several other counties that are smaller in total number of cases. So I think that speaks to the level of commitment that our community has.”

As of 5 p.m. Monday, out of 245 cases in El Paso County, 11 people have died, with a majority of the deaths being people in their 80s.

“Much of our efforts moving forward have to be focused on those at-risk populations. Because that’s the group that’s going to end up in the hospitals."

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Kolby Crossley

Kolby is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Kolby here.



  1. The “death rate” is based on numbers of deaths in comparison to positive tests. But many places are not testing symptomatic people unless they need to be hospitalized. That skews these stats. If other places are testing at a higher rate, they will have a lower death rate.

    1. Absolutely true. I just hope these skewed numbers don’t actually reflect reality…

  2. Because the county commissioners are worthless as well as the mayor of the springs.

    1. And why does El Paso County have worthless people at the helm? Because that is who the citizen elected. Look at all the problems at the Sheriff’s Office. It was all known before the election, but the people chose to re-elect a corrupt Sheriff for another four years. Pretty sad.

  3. It would help if essential businesses ensured that their public-facing employees did not exhibit signs of communicable illness such an runny noses, coughing, or sneezing. Is that a cold, flu, or covid-19? One such was working in the meat department at a grocery store. When the person manning the Pharmacy pickup and drive-through, even during the early Senior Hour, is obviously sick (but with what?) that is deeply concerning. When the manager doesn’t realize that the person handling the prescriptions is ill, that indicates that the company has no precautions in place to prevent customer exposure from sick employees. Most have no cleaning of anything between customers. Then there are other stores where someone diligently wipes down everything at the self-checkout station before waving the next customer forward. Is that corporate policy, or is that individual store manager choice? I suggest that essential businesses – from corporate decree that includes specific procedures to be followed – ensure that their public-facing employees are well prior to actually facing the public.

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