COVID-19 Forecast for El Paso County — June 9
Good morning, and welcome back from our brief pause as we transition to the summer. On this pandemic date last year, it was the second day of the Online Summer Music Festival and featured three Zoom creative events. (This year, the festival is in-person and runs from June 6 to June 25.)
For the summer, we will continue to put out COVID-19 forecasts every other week. We have decided to add the “In Your Inbox” section to the forecast due to the new scheduling.
Today, Phoebe Lostroh returns to give her weekly COVID-19 forecast for El Paso County. Lostroh is a professor of molecular biology at Colorado College on scholarly leave who is serving as the program director in Genetic Mechanisms, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation.
➡️ICYMI: On the last day of the school year, we explained the plague detected in the squirrels around CC’s campus. Also, we surveyed some students about their experiences during a year of COVID-19.
✉️In Your Inbox:
On May 21, Acting Co-Presidents Mike Edmonds and Robert G. Moore sent out a message about the end of the academic year and shared a conversation they had with President-Elect L. Song Richardson, who will her position begin on July 1.
On May 26, Acting Co-Presidents Mike Edmonds and Robert G. Moore sent out an email condemning anti-semitism that has been occuring toward the Jewish community.
On June 1, CC announced that the outside mask mandate has been lifted. Masks are still required while indoors, unless alone in a closed office space, and people should continue social distancing.
On June 4, CC communications sent an email to update students about housing due to some confusion. It explained that there are no single rooms available but students can be on a waitlist for singles should they become available.
On June 7, Bon Appetit partners announced in an email from The COVID Weekly Report that there will be indoor seating for Benjamin’s Café. It will begin with 30% capacity and gradually increase weekly.
NOTES: These forecasts represent her own opinion and not necessarily those of the National Science Foundation or Colorado College. She used the public El Paso County dashboard for all data. Lostroh prepared these forecasts on June 7.
⚖️ How her predictions shaped up: June 5 is the last day of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report week 22 in the national public health calendar. It is the 65th week since the first case was detected in El Paso County. Since March 13, 846 El Paso County residents have died of COVID-19. In El Paso Country for the week ending June 3, there were 753 cases.
Predicted cumulative reported cases in El Paso County
🗝️ Key points: Reported cases are in black circles while the red, grey, and light blue symbols provide estimates based on curve-fitting for the most recent 21, 14, and seven days. For the week ending June 10, Lostroh predicts 469-717 new cases in El Paso County.
Rolling seven-day cumulative incidence in El Paso County with predictions
🗝️ Key points: The actual calculated incidence is in black Xs, while the gray, dark blue, and light blue symbols provide estimates based on curve-fitting for the most recent 21, 14, and seven days, respectively. The purple, yellow, and red-dotted lines show the CDC’s thresholds for risk categories. As of June 8, the incidence per 100,000 people in El Paso County over the last seven days was 104.5.
“In this graph, the broad ‘fourth wave’ appears to be drawing to a close,” Lostroh said. “The factors contributing to declining incidence include residents with at least partial immunity and summer weather enabling many outdoor activities, including dining and athletics.”
Seven-day rolling percent positivity compared with daily percent positivity in El Paso County
🗝️ Key points: The seven-day rolling percent positivity for nasopharyngeal tests for viral nucleic acids is plotted in dark blue diamonds, while the daily percent positivity is plotted in open light blue diamonds. The purple, yellow, and red-dotted lines show the thresholds for the CDC’s risk categories. As of June 8, the percent positivity in El Paso County was 4.87%.
“The percent positivity is near the 5% ‘Elevated’ CDC threshold, but the 7-day rolling percent positivity is trending downward,” Lostroh said.
New COVID-19 hospitalizations compared with the regional census of hospitalized COVID-19 patients
🗝️ Key points: Daily hospitalizations are plotted in blue using the left-hand axis, while the census of regional hospitalized COVID-19 patients is plotted in red on the right-hand axis. As of June 8, the seven-day average daily hospital admissions in El Paso County was at 6.1 admissions.
“Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in El Paso County, CO are a little lower than last week but the hospital census is still elevated,” Lostroh said.
COVID-19 vaccinations in El Paso County
🗝️ Key points: The El Paso County vaccine dashboard tracks county vaccine distribution. The number of people who have been partially or fully vaccinated in El Paso County is indicated with purple symbols. El Paso County has administered a total of 537,091 doses. Some of those doses were the first shot someone received, while others were the second shot to complete the vaccine series. As of June 8, 252,907 people have received both shots and thus have completed the immunization series.
“About 40% of the local population has been at least partially vaccinated,” Lostroh said. “We need to improve the rate of immunization to improve the chance that we will not have yet another wave of infections, most likely in the fall when the weather cools and school begins (both of which increase physically mixing in our population).”
About the CC COVID-19 Reporting Project
The CC COVID-19 Reporting Project is created by Colorado College student journalists Cameron Howell, Will Taylor, and Ellie Gober in partnership with The Catalyst, Colorado College’s student newspaper. Work by Phoebe Lostroh, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at CC and National Science Foundation Program Director in Genetic Mechanisms, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, will appear from time to time.
The project seeks to provide frequent updates about CC and other higher education institutions during the pandemic by providing original reporting, analysis, interviews with campus leaders, and context about what state and national headlines mean for the CC community.