Greater than 1,000 new COVID-19 instances in El Paso County inside 24 hours

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) — The Colorado Department of Public Health announced Thursday 1,026 new COVID-19 cases and 17 new COVID-related deaths in El Paso County.

The number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily rising in El Paso County since October when 145 cases topped the highest reported cases, which was 139 cases back in July.

With the county seeing more than 1,000 cases, this marks the worst single day of reported cases in El Paso County since the pandemic began.

El Paso County Public Health

The two-week incident rate in El Paso County is 1,226. Right now the county is at Level Red COVID-19 restrictions.

County officials were unavailable for comment Thursday but expect to discuss the situation on Friday.

Health officials said it’s too soon to know if this record spike resulted from a lack of following recommendations to control the virus’ spread during Thanksgiving weekend, but officials feared and warned the public that it could happen.

Many Colorado Springs residents who spoke with KRDO NewsChannel 13 Thursday night said that they followed the recommendations but aren’t surprised that so many people didn’t.

“I think it’s going to get worse from here, unfortunately,” said Ashley Frazier. “But hopefully, people can sit down for a little while and stay inside. I don’t want to be a part of it. The pandemic is crazy, and people are dying. Everybody needs to take better precautions.”

“I always take (the virus) seriously,” said Angelo Penny. “I had a friend who (died) in July, 17 days after he contracted (it). So it’s definitely serious for me.”

The spike is particularly a concern for Mark Heinacke, who has high blood pressure and is older than 65.

“How many of the cases will have to be referred to a hospital?” he asked. “How will this affect the hospitals that are already overwhelmed? That’s what I worry about; not so much me getting sick but getting other people sick.”

There’s mixed opinion about whether a second state shutdown is the only way to significantly reduce COVID cases.

“I don’t know,” said Dennis Banks. “I’d be for it. I’ll be home with my wife. I’ve been home with her for the past five months. We’ve just got to wait and see what happens.”

The thought in many minds now: Is this spike the worst we’ll see? Or is it just the tip of the iceberg?

The Thanksgiving aftermath now threatens Christmas–our biggest holiday–only three weeks away.

In Pueblo County, there are a reported 287 new COVID-19 cases and nine COVID-related deaths.

In Teller County, there are a reported 26 new COVID-19 cases and in Fremont County, there are a reported 78 new COVID-19 cases.

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