The numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are alarming.

Last week, the number of infections in the state was 1 in 292, but this week the number of cases has grown to 1 in 219 Coloradans that are infected with COVID-19. The CDPHE says the numbers imply the probability of encountering an infected person is higher than it was at any point this summer.

Meanwhile, the CDPHE reported hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are rapidly increasing and the state could see a record number as early as November 10. State-wide ICU capacity limits may be reached in January, however, because of holiday gatherings in the coming weeks, it's possible ICU capacity could be exceeded in December. The predictions are based on modeling based on data through October 26. At the current rates, within the next two weeks, it's likely Colorado will exceed the peak hospitalizations we experienced back in April.

The news isn't good as communities across the state struggle with opening up safely and at the same time slowing the spread of the virus. It doesn't help that too many people still don't take the pandemic seriously.

Over the weekend, a popular nightclub in Greeley was openly defiant, promoting their Halloween party as a "Mask-Off Party.......No masks. No restrictions. No compliance." It appears local law enforcement did nothing to curtail the reckless behavior.

As long as this sort of thing is happening, it's going to be difficult for the state to make progress in the effort to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. It feels like we are on a treadmill - going the wrong direction. For every step forward it seems we are taking two steps back.

In the last two weeks, there have been more than 800 positive tests in Mesa County and there doesn't seem to be a slow down in sight. The chances of coming in contact with an infectious person is growing, and we need to be vigilant to continue to wear masks, social distance, avoid crowds, and be extra cautious during family gatherings. Somehow, we have to get everyone on the same page - whether we like it or not.

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