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County positivity rates mostly at Level Blue

DENVER (KDVR) — Good COVID-19 milestones abound in Colorado despite the national death count nearing half a million Americans.

Thursday, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials announced that more than 1 million vaccines doses have been administered. Nearly 750,000 Coloradans, or about 13% of the population, have received at least one dose, including 333,000 who have had both doses.

This is far from the estimated 70%-90% needed to achieve a vaccinated herd immunity, but the critical group is those ages 70 and over. CDPHE says it has vaccinated 60% of Colorado’s 70+ community and is closing in on its goal of vaccinating 70% of this group by the end of February.

Other good news is that the majority of Colorado’s 64 counties are beneath 5% test positivity. It’s unclear if vaccines, winter weather, social distancing, double masking or some combination of all these behaviors are working, but clearly something is.

While this is only one of three statistics CDPHE considers, a positivity rate below 5% equates to the Level Blue category of the state’s COVID dial framework – the least restrictive before the virus is eradicated.

This trend is not exclusively rural, either. It applies to the bulk of the state’s residents living in and near the Denver metro.

Each of these counties falls well beneath the 5% test positivity rate, with Denver itself the lowest of all at 2.7%. Douglas and El Paso counties, however, are just over the threshold at 5.2% and 5.6%, respectively.

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