El Paso County hospitals remained strained even as new COVID-19 cases continued to drop across the Pikes Peak region, according to the latest data from county health authorities.

On Sunday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis extended the state's health restrictions and a disaster declaration tied to the pandemic.

"The actions we have undertaken to date have made progress in these areas, but we must continue taking aggressive action to minimize the duration of this epidemic and of the disruption to our daily lives," Polis wrote.

El Paso county reported 4,539 coronavirus infections in the past two weeks, including 1,951 in the past week. Of those, 118 cases were reported on Christmas Day. Newly reported case dropped to 62 on Saturday, according to the latest data available.

Hospitals in Colorado Springs report "poor/strained capacity" and resource constraints, and were limiting surgeries, according to the county's coronavirus information website.

Virus-related hospitalizations began surging in November and are dropping from a mid-December peak, but remain well above levels from the summer, the website shows.  

The county’s positivity rate — or the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents — was 9.19% on Saturday, down from 14.77% on Nov. 30. Despite the decline, the positivity rate here was still well above the statewide 6.35% positivity rate, the data shows.

Statewide, the death toll directly attributed to COVID-19 was 3,605, while the number of deaths among patients who had COVID at their time of death, including those who died of other causes, was 4,592.

El Paso County remains at Level Red, the second highest on the state’s dial, indicating the county is at severe risk for continuing infections.

Work places are limited to 10% capacity, and retail outlets must cap patrons at 50% capacity. Bars are closed, restaurants are limited to take-out or curbside dining, and gyms are at 10% capacity.

Click here for the latest state data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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