Colorado’s top epidemiologist said Thursday that she believes coronavirus is circulating in the state at its highest rate since the pandemic began.
“We believe that there is more COVID-19 circulating in Colorado right now than there has been since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Herlihy said modeling estimates more than one out of every 100 people in Colorado are contagious with coronavirus right now.
There were 894 coronavirus hospitalizations in Colorado as of Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis announced, the state’s highest level. The previous hospitalizations record in Colorado was 888 set on April 14.
In some of his most blunt remarks since coronavirus reached Colorado, Polis called the situation “grim and sobering.” He asked Coloradans to interact only with members of their own household through the month of November, though he did not mandate as much.
“Every time you decide not to go to a dinner party, not to go to a friend’s house … you’re making a difference in saving lives,” Polis said during a video briefing with reporters.
If Coloradans don’t change their behavior, Polis said “the toll will be immense.”
In response to the case surge, the University of Colorado announced Thursday afternoon that all classes will shift to remote instruction starting Nov. 16. This is the second time this semester that the Boulder campus has suspended in-person instruction to slow the spread of the disease.