Latest COVID-19 data at UCCS and in El Paso County

Annika Schmidt

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     The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) campus mode of operation is now labeled as “mostly remote,” as of Thanksgiving Break. According to the UCCS COVID-19-Ready dashboard, “campus areas that remain open in-person, including offices, residence halls, and residential dining facilities will remain open in accordance to current public health guidance.” 

     A total of 212 cases have been reported at UCCS since the beginning of the semester; 28 of these cases were reported during the week of Thanksgiving Break. During the month of November, 157 positive cases were reported in the community, which account for 74 percent of all cases this semester. 

     According to reported daily case numbers, four people tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Nov. 30. The highest daily incidence rate was on Nov. 13, when 19 people tested positive. 

     The COVID-19 case number data is based on numbers that have been personally reported to UCCS by students, faculty and staff. 

     Isolation room occupancy on campus also increased dramatically last month, with a total of 75 students using isolation rooms during the month of November. This is more than twice the occupancy in August, September and October combined. 

     Testing efforts during the month of November also changed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was down from 41 tests in October to only 14 in November. However, this may be due to the dramatic increase in rapid antigen testing. 

     The first rapid antigen tests were completed on Oct. 26, and a total of 349 tests have since been distributed as of Dec. 3. 

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COVID-19 in El Paso County 

     El Paso County is in the Red: Severe Risk category on the Colorado dial framework, which outlines restrictions and risk levels for contracting COVID-19. 

     As of Dec. 3, there are 8,429 active cases in El Paso County. Overall, there have been 29,248 cases and 309 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. 

     Hospitalizations over the last four weeks also appear to be on an upward trend based on data released by El Paso County Public Health. On Dec. 2, there were three COVID-19 related hospital admissions, and two of these individuals were in their 20s. 

     In the past week, 20 people have succumbed to the novel coronavirus in El Paso County; all 20 casualties were over the age of 60. Since the beginning of the pandemic, four people in their 20s have died of COVID-19. 

     El Paso County Public Health has also released data on COVID-19 outbreak settings. The setting with by far the most outbreaks is K-12 schools, which are responsible for 41 percent of all outbreaks in the county.