Colorado governor warns ‘we expect it to get worse’ as delta variant drives spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

About 360 people were hospitalized in Colorado because of coronavirus on Monday, up about 100 over last week

Jesse Paul
Colorado Sun
Colorado Governor Jared Polis makes a point about the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state during a news conference on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus April 27, 2021, in Denver.
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis on Monday, Aug. 2, warned Coloradans to brace for a worsening COVID-19 situation driven by spread of the more contagious delta variant, which has led in recent days to a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state.

“We expect it to get worse before it gets better,” Polis said during a news conference at the governor’s mansion in downtown Denver.

Polis’ somber, disappointed tone comes after weeks of falling coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Colorado. He said that the virus has thrown the state another curveball and that it’s “tough to face another peak when we thought that the last peak was behind us.”

More than 95% of new cases in Colorado are believed to be among the delta variant, which was first identified in India. The variant is driving new cases and hospitalizations across the U.S., prompting dire warnings from public health officials and politicians.

The delta variant, according to a Centers for Disease and Control document obtained by The New York Times, is more transmissible than the viruses that cause MERS, SARS Ebola and the common cold. It is also as contagious as chickenpox.

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