Researchers estimate 494,000 Coloradans suffering from Long COVID, a number that could sharply rise


Boram Kim


The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) released a new dashboard on Wednesday that shows there are 494,229 estimated cases of Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PACS) or Long COVID in Colorado.


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A February 2021 study showed that 30% of reported COVID-19 infections included persisting problems up to 9 months after illness. The results of a study in Scotland released on Wednesday showed that of the 31,486 symptomatic infections observed, nearly half (42%) were suffering from Long COVID and 6% had not recovered. 

There has been a slow decline in weekly COVID-19 infections statewide.

In its most recent report, the Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Group conducted modeling simulations that accounted for a “hypothetical variant with high immune escape” entering the state this fall. 

Based on that model, public health officials estimate a surge in new infections by the end of the year. This could potentially exacerbate concerns over the prevalence of Long COVID.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment reports 8.9% of the population has taken the omicron booster. 

The National Center for Health Statistics estimates some 16 million Americans aged 18 to 65 have Long COVID and the economic impact in lost wages alone would cost $170 billion annually and potentially as high as $230 billion. 

Researchers say the comprehensive long-term investigation of Long COVID is needed to fully understand the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

While legislation on Long COVID has been introduced in the Senate, the 2 bills are stalled in committee. 

In August, the administration released its National Research Action Plan on Long COVID, which aims to advance progress in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Long COVID and provide services and supports for individuals, families, and communities experiencing PACS.