More than 2 years into the pandemic, interpreting COVID-19 metrics gets trickier, especially with dashboard changes and elusive data | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

Tori Burket, manager of Denver’s epidemiology program, told Denverite last week people can’t count on using case rates any more to gauge COVID risks, because at-home tests are rarely reported to officials.

“That number, by itself, is not reliable,” she said. “It’s not a true indicator of what’s happening in the community.”

Mehta said the pandemic continues to challenge mightily the health care system, from providers dealing with the still on-going crisis to a patient population now ailing in worrisome ways.

Hospital patients are “just much sicker, and taking a lot more time in terms of management, and more complex thinking,” he said. “These are patients that either didn’t seek out care for a couple of years, didn’t have access to care or in a lot of cases, especially at Denver Health, have really been abusing themselves in a variety of ways with a lot of substances. So we’re seeing a lot of that.”

Editor’s note: The state is adapting its COVID-19 dashboard and changing some of its metrics — and CPR News is changing its as well. We’ve updated our COVID-19 page to reflect the metrics that we’ll be watching closely to understand what the virus is doing in Colorado — particularly hospitalizations and wastewater monitoring. We know a lot of our readers have come to rely on COVID stats, and the change is an attempt to keep providing you with information that is accurate and useful.

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