Colorado experiencing uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

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DURANGO, Colo. – As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise in New Mexico, Colorado is also getting hit hard.

“It’s not nearly as bad as many as the other states yet," stated Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. "But I would say from all the data we’re looking at, we expect it to get worse before it gets better“

Even as COVID-19 gets worse, Polis is confident about the vaccine and the state’s numbers.

“70% of all eligible Coloradans have gotten vaccinated," Polis stated. "Remember, we hit the 70% of adults a couple of days ahead of July 4 and we’re now at 72.12% of adults but now we’ve made enough progress with 12 to 17-year-olds.“

However, health experts emphasize that more work needs to be done, especially with the Delta variant spreading.

“We’re definitely seeing a pretty dramatic increase in cases," said Colorado epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy, "but what I want to point out here is that the increase that we are seeing is largely occurring among unvaccinated individuals so we really see that they are really driving transmission in the state right now.”

The Delta variant is transmissible among vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The variant has spread in the U.S., including in southwest Colorado.

“If you are fully vaccinated and you get sick, you might transmit it to another person who is not vaccinated and make them very seriously ill, put them in the hospital or even kill them," said San Juan Basin Public Health Deputy Incident Commander for COVID-19 Response Brian Devine. "The recommendation coming out of the CDC and the San Juan Basin Public Health is that in public indoor spaces, the risk of transmission is much higher indoors than outdoors that hasn’t changed with the Delta variant.“

Health officials urge everyone to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.