Colorado hospitals activate transfer center as facilities fear hitting capacity amid surging COVID-19 infections – The Denver Post

The Colorado Hospital Association activated the state’s Combined Hospital Transfer Center for the first time Friday as some facilities in the state reported concerns about hitting capacity amid record-level coronavirus hospitalizations.

Hospitals and heath systems can call the Combined Hospital Transfer Center if they are full and need to transfer patients to other facilities. Hospitals also are having staffing concerns, with the association saying earlier this week that health care workers have become sick with the novel coronavirus.

“As COVID-19 hospitalizations reach new levels that we had hoped we wouldn’t see, space and staff are our current concerns that we must address immediately,” said Dr. Darlene Tad-y, vice president of clinical affairs, in a statement.

About 11% of the state’s hospitals are reporting a potential ICU bed shortage in the next week. And 25% of hospitals could see a potential staffing shortage as well, according the state health department.

On Thursday, a record 1,183 people were hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The state health department is moving 12 more counties to Level Orange, the state’s second-highest level of COVID-19 restrictions. This means that by Saturday, 27 counties will be one level away from lockdown, according to the state’s color-coded dial framework.

The system places counties in a level based on new cases, the percentage of tests that are positive and how hospitalizations are trending over a two-week period. Level Red is the highest stage and triggers a stay-at-home order if a county reaches that level.

At least 25 counties have case incidences that are high enough to qualify for Level Red. Four counties— Adams, Morgan, Prowers and Summit — have test positivity rates in the red. Pueblo has hospitalization numbers that also are in the red.

Local public health officials have asked the Department of Public Health and Environment to impose stricter restrictions, saying coronavirus infections are surpassing their ability to do contact tracing. But state leaders, including Gov. Jared Polis, want counties to take the lead in implementing COVID-19 interventions. 

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