The number of new coronavirus cases in Colorado continued to increase on Thursday, with the health department reporting the largest daily jump in COVID-19 infections since May as it confirmed an additional 324 people tested positive for the respiratory disease.
Colorado has seen a slight uptick in cases since last week and public health officials have urged residents to avoid large social gatherings. However, the number of new coronavirus cases remains well below the peak in April and Colorado has not experienced the kind of surge in cases as has been seen in other states such as Arizona and Texas.
As of Wednesday, 31,479 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since March, up from 31,155 the day before, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The health department also confirmed another 18 people have died, bringing the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 to 1,475. So far, 1,669 people have died with the novel coronavirus in their system.
State officials have said it’s unclear why Colorado is seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections. Clusters of cases have been reported in Eagle, Boulder and El Paso counties in recent weeks. The spikes in cases in these communities are attributed to a mixture of social gatherings, protests and out-of-state travel.
The number of counties with COVID-19 cases also increased to 61 as the state health department confirmed the first case of the disease in Jackson County. Only three Colorado counties — Dolores, Kiowa and Sedgwick — have no confirmed cases of COVID-19.
While new cases have increased, hospitalizations in the state remain low. Hospitalizations and deaths provide insight into the severity of the outbreak. There were 135 people in hospitals for COVID-19 as of Thursday, according to the Colorado Hospital Association.