Colorado Lets Hospitals Turn Away Patients as Covid Surges Anew
The state of Colorado, where the Covid-19 vaccination rate is one of the highest in the U.S., will allow overwhelmed hospitals to turn away new patients, the governor’s office announced Sunday.
The executive order by Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, authorizes the state health department to “order hospitals and freestanding emergency departments to transfer or cease the admission of (and redirect) patients to respond to the current COVID-19 Disaster Emergency in Colorado.”
The governor’s order also brings the state closer to full-blown rationing of medical care. It allows for implementation of so-called crisis of care standards, a detailed protocol for health care workers to decide in an emergency who should be treated first.
Acute care hospital bed occupancy -- that’s both intensive care unit and medical-surging unit beds -- has been averaging about 90%, state data show. Staffing shortages have been severe in many parts of Colorado, both urban and rural.
Last week, Polis announced Colorado will begin moving monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19 out of hospitals to a fleet of mobile clinics, effective Monday.
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