DENVER — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado is the highest it’s been all year, Gov. Jared Polis said in an update Thursday.
Polis said 894 Coloradans are currently hospitalized with the virus. The previous single-day high was 888 on April 14.
“We have now surpassed the hospitalization level we had in March and April, and we need to do better and getting back to what it works,” said Polis.
Colorado also reached an all-time high in new cases, with 3,369 in the past day, according to Polis.
State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said, “That if numbers increase at the current rate, Colorado will exceed ICU capacity in late December. If that happens, Herlihy said, hospitals will need to add surge capacity or “operate at crisis standards of care.”
“I know this sounds daunting, but if we make these changes in the month of November, we can be on a better trajectory and into a vaccine,” added Polis.
Herlihy said that if we see a decrease in social distancing over the holidays, including Thanksgiving, the state will exceed ICU capacity sooner. The number of ICU beds needed will be higher.
Polis said that because death data tends to lag behind hospitalization data, the state anticipates an increase in deaths in the next few days or weeks.
While he did not implement any new mandates or restrictions, Polis is asking all Coloradans, no matter what county they live in, to do three things for the rest of November:
- Interact only with members of your own household.
- Maintain social distancing when out in public.
- Wear a mask.
Polis said the health department estimates 1 in 100 Coloradans is currently contagious with COVID-19.
“It comes to our individual decision to avoid going out and socializing because there’s nothing Jefferson County and Denver can do what’s going on home,” said Polis. “So, we need to act responsibly.”