COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — After a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in November, new data shows that coronavirus spread appears to be slowing in El Paso County.

In the last 14 days, El Paso County’s positivity rate dropped to around 9% after almost hitting nearly 15% in late November, according to county public health data.

From December 1 to January 3, 505 people were hospitalized in El Paso for COVID-19. That’s 188 fewer people than the amount hospitalized in the same time frame in November.

The decline comes as the state shifted El Paso County to level orange today.

“There is a sense of light coming at the end of this tunnel. Right? We have the vaccine, we’re seeing our numbers trend in the right direction,” Dr. Robin Johnson with El Paso County Public Health said.

Johnson warns those numbers doesn’t mean it’s time to let up on pandemic safety guidelines.

“So while there’s still some downward trend the last few days. It’s kind of slowing and plateauing, which indicates we still have some diligence that is needed and some work to-do, Johnson said.

El Paso and Pueblo counties are both monitoring a possible holiday case spike in the next two weeks.

In Pueblo, case numbers are as much fewer per day than they were in November. Pueblo County Health Director Randy Evetts said that the current numbers still aren’t in line with the previous level orange requirements even though the governor is allowing stricter restrictions.

“This is a gift from the governor, recognizing that our economic health is important to our overall community health as well and trying to move our businesses forward to at least open them up with some capacity. But we all have to manage this and be responsible from a community standpoint and a restaurant standpoint, so we can continue down that path,” Evetts said.

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