ICU bed availability at record low in Colorado

COVID-19 hospital admissions in Colorado are at a record high for 2021, nearing the totals seen during the surge last winter. Colorado Public Radio News reported on November 17.

State data shows 1,526 people were hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases on Nov. 17, making the highest total for that year. Colorado peaked on December 1, 2020 with 1,847 hospital stays.

“We still seem very much in that direction on our current path,” said Scott Bookman, the state incident commander for COVID-19, during a November 17 briefing.

In Colorado, which is home to more than 5.7 million people, 75 beds were available in an intensive care unit as of November 17. That record represents “the lowest number of available beds in the state of Colorado that we have seen at any earlier point in the pandemic,” said Mr. Bookman.

While the current surge does not yet justify activating emergency care standards or restricting elective surgeries, these options are now regularly discussed with hospitals, according to Bookman. He said Colorado is working to add 500 more hospital beds along with more staff to increase the state’s hospital bed capacity.

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