ICU bed availability at record low in Colorado

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado are at record high levels for 2021 and nearing totals seen during last winter's surge, Colorado Public Radio News reported Nov. 17. 

State data shows 1,526 people were hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 17, marking the highest total seen this year. Colorado saw COVID-19 hospitalizations peak at 1,847 on Dec. 1, 2020.

"On our current trajectory, we still do seem to be heading very much in that direction," Scott Bookman, the state incident commander for COVID-19, said during a Nov. 17 briefing.

As of Nov. 17, 75 intensive care unit beds were available in Colorado, which is home to more than 5.7 million people. This tally represents "the lowest number of beds available in the state of Colorado than we have seen at any previous point in the pandemic," Mr. Bookman said.

While the current surge does not yet warrant activating crisis standards of care or limiting elective surgeries, these options are now regularly discussed with hospitals, according to Mr. 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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