Colorado COVID ICU Bed Shortage Update

When three major city counties approved new mask orders related to COVID-19 on Nov. 22 (the city of Denver is expected to make a similar announcement this morning), Colorado set a pandemic record for the fewest available intensive care units on beds.

Out of a total of 1,508 intensive care beds, 1,427 were occupied – only 81 available in the entire state. That’s the same number of beds that were available on November 18 when the brand was originally set – and many other stats related to the disease are just as worrying.

Here are the latest Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment figures in key categories, updated after 4:00 p.m. on November 22; They are juxtaposed with our previous COVID-19 survey which tracked information from November 15.

811,813 cases (up 22,383 from November 15)
22,922 worrying variants (up 651 from November 15)
64 districts (unchanged from November 15)
45,915 hospitalized (up 1,052 from November 15)
8,951 deaths among cases (up 250 from November 15)
9,178 deaths from COVID-19 (up 235 from November 15)
6,812 outbreaks (up 125 from November 15)

Four souvenirs:

• The trend in new cases of COVID-19 is increasing. The total of 22,383 for the week ending November 22nd increased from 20,784 on November 15th.

• Over the same period, hospital admissions fell slightly, from 1,176 on November 15 to 1,052 on November 22. However, that still equates to an average of more than 150 per day.

• New COVID outbreaks are still on the rise: 125 in the seven days leading up to November 22nd, compared to 121 on November 15th.

• The same applies to deaths in people infected with COVID-19 (202 on November 15, 250 on November 22) and people who were directly killed by the virus (224 on November 15, 235 on November 22).

The number of daily cases over the past ten days has varied widely, with fewer than 1,400 on November 21 but more than 3,000 on four other occasions. Here is the overview:

November 21 – 1,368 cases
November 20 – 1,915 cases
November 19 – 2,617 cases
November 18 – 3,099 cases
November 17 – 3,864 cases
November 16 – 3,963 cases
November 15 – 2,794 cases
November 14 – 1,812 cases
November 13 – 2,804 cases
November 12 – 3,153 cases

At the very least, the state’s positivity rate has declined, falling from an impressive 13.44 percent on Nov. 15 to 8.92 percent on Nov. 22nd. But that’s still well above the 5 percent level that health officials see as indicative of below-average testing and rapid community spread.

In recent days, hospital admissions peaked at 272 on November 17th – up from 300 on November 8th. However, the total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 helps explain why the bed situation in the intensive care unit is approaching the crisis stage. The 1,652 patients treated for the virus on November 22nd were the highest number since 1,675 on December 11th, 2020. Here are the details:

New hospital admissions by admission date

November 22, 2021
219 patients hospitalized
177 patients admitted to the hospital on a seven-day average

November 21, 2021
45 patients hospitalized
166 7-day average patients hospitalized

November 20, 2021
85 patients hospitalized
170 7-day average patients hospitalized

November 19, 2021
157 patients admitted to the hospital
177 patients admitted to the hospital on a seven-day average

November 18, 2021
192 patients admitted to the hospital
190 7-day average patients hospitalized

November 17, 2021
272 patients admitted to the hospital
199 patients admitted to the hospital on a seven-day average

November 16, 2021
268 patients admitted to the hospital
189 patients admitted to the hospital on a seven-day average

November 15, 2021
145 patients admitted to the hospital
191 average 7-day patients hospitalized

November 14, 2021
70 patients admitted to the hospital
214 7-day average patients hospitalized

November 13, 2021
135 patients admitted to the hospital
215 patients admitted to the hospital on a seven-day average

Patients currently being hospitalized for COVID-19

November 22, 2021
1,652 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,565 (95 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
87 (5 percent) examined people

November 21, 2021
1,592 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,519 (95 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
73 (5 percent) examined people

November 20, 2021
1,586 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,514 (95 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
72 (5 percent) examined people

November 19, 2021
1,574 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,518 (96 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
56 (4 percent) examined people

November 18, 2021
1,590 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,535 (97 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
55 (3 percent) examined people

November 17, 2021
1,606 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,526 (95 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
80 (5 percent) examined people

November 16, 2021
1,556 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,470 (94 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
86 (6 percent) examined people

November 15, 2021
1,503 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,431 (95 percent) confirmed COVID-19
72 (5 percent) examined people

November 14, 2021
1,532 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,460 (95 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
72 (5 percent) examined people

November 13, 2021
1,534 COVID patients in total (confirmed and suspected / PUI)
1,460 (95 percent) COVID-19 confirmed
74 (5 percent) examined people

The vaccination stats tracked on the CDPHE’s vaccine data dashboard are mixed. The increase in the number of fully immunized people decreased from 22,583 on November 14th to 17,594 on November 21st. But the number of people who received at least one dose rose 60,134 through November 21, up from a rise of 56,545 for the week ends November 14. More details:

3,623,970 people in Colorado fully vaccinated, up 17,594 from Nov. 14
4,030,693 people vaccinated with at least one dose (up 60,134 from November 14th)
2,731 people vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine on November 21 (an increase of 1,098 from November 14); 4,971 vaccinations of Pfizer vaccine reported on November 21, but earlier (down 17,245 from November 14)
2,051 people vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine on November 21 (an increase of 460 from November 14); 4,881 vaccinations with Moderna vaccine reported on November 21, but given earlier (down 13,756 from November 14)
106 people vaccinated with Janssen (J&J) vaccine on November 21 (53 compared to November 14); 131 vaccinations with Janssen vaccine were reported on November 21, but were given earlier (517 fewer than on November 14)

Officials are working to add 500 new intensive care beds to the state healthcare system, according to Governor Jared Polis. Given the current scarcity of beds, this cannot happen soon enough.

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