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Some in Colorado are calling this “the calm before the storm,” a temporary lull in COVID-19 cases before an expected fall spike.

Across the state, the diagnosed cases of COVID-19 — the BA.5 variant are low. In her latest update to Chaffee County leadership, the Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) Director Andrea Carlstrom says that  “the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 community level dashboard shows Chaffee County continues to stay at a LOW level.  Transmission level has moved from HIGH to SUBSTANTIAL, one level lower.”

COVID 19-testing image courtesy of Evergreen Health

At the moment fewer people are getting sick from the virus in Colorado than even a few weeks ago. Hospitalizations from the virus dropped below 200 statewide this week for the first time since May 2022. However, it should be pointed out that the rate of hospitalizations is still more than double what it was in April 2022.

We know. We’re all tired of this virus. But health experts tell us it is not done with us yet, and to expect another spike this fall. But Health leaders expect that the cases will tick back up as the weather changes.

History provides a model of what may happen. In 2020, cases of COVID-19 started rising slowly in September, then took off in October. In 2021, there was a more gradual rise from July to November, before the Omicron variant sent cases sky-high in December.

“Given COVID-19’s seasonal pattern in Colorado, infections are going to rise again in the coming months,” said Denver Department of Public Health and Environment’s new Executive Director Bob McDonald. “But no one is sure how big the fall wave might be.”

The great unknown — whether or not another variant is waiting in the wings. So far, the current vaccines cover the current predominant variant BA.5. What might happen next is anyone’s guess.

Recommended actions from CCPH based on the current level of COVID-19:

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (remember booster for ages 5+ and a second booster for ages 50+)
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask

One further word of warning for everyone who is immunocompromised: follow this link to learn more about how to protect yourself.