Colorado Hospitals ‘Threatened’ With Just 75 ICU Beds Open
(Bloomberg) -- The number of hospital intensive care unit beds available in Colorado, a state with a population of 5.7 million people, is just 75 as of Wednesday, a new pandemic low, officials said.
The number of available medical-surgical unit beds also set a new low of 575, Scott Bookman, Covid-19 incident commander at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said during an online news briefing.
Bookman noted bed availability data vary hour-by-hour, but warned “our health care system is so, so threatened right now” and staffing is low.
The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients is 1,526, below the pandemic peak of 1,800 last year. However, the number of beds is lower than in 2020 after the closure of overflow units at the Denver Convention Center and elsewhere in the state.
The state is working on a plan to add 500 more beds and adequate staffing at existing hospitals and long-term care facilities to ease the burden, Bookman said. There are no plans to reopen overflow sites, he said.
Eighty percent of the hospitalized Covid-19 patients in Colorado are unvaccinated, Bookman said, while more than 80% of state residents have received at least one vaccine dose, one of the highest percentages in the western U.S.
Infections remain on an “upward trajectory” with the testing positivity rate averaging 9.5% over the past week, said Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist. The preferred level is 5% or less.
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