Colorado plans to add additional beds to meet hospital demand


(AP Photo/Kyle Gree, File)

STATEWIDE — Colorado is on a trajectory to surpass hospital capacity, according to Governor Jared Polis who pointing the finger at unvaccinated Coloradans.

Right now, nearly 1,500 Coloradans are hospitalized with COVID. This number is at its highest point since mid-December of 2020.

“This is really a critical moment in the pandemic it has never been more dangerous for the unvaccinated,” said Governor Polis.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says less than 20% of current COVID patients are vaccinated and at this rate, Colorado could surpass available hospital capacity.

“Where we are at is simply not sustainable,” stressed the governor who continues to ask Coloradans over the age of 18 get their booster shot.

Governor Polis said the state is working on expanding hospital capacity and plans to add an additional 500 beds across different sites within the next 30 days. Parkview Hospital in Pueblo is one of those sites and has already received an additional 20 beds to meet demand.

“Not all 500 will be acute hospitals beds, and the other half will be acute,” said Polis. “and the others would be what we call step-down beds.”

Another obstacle hospitals are facing are staffing shortages. The governor says augmented FEMA teams are lending a helping hand and are currently at Parkview helping care for patients.

A Parkview spokesperson said that the 15 member FEMA team will be at their hospital for the next fourteen days and have been in Pueblo since Sunday.

For now, Governor Polis doesn’t plan to enforce a mask mandate despite surrounding states extending theirs.

“We hope that masks show evidence of…mask requirements work. If they are working in New Mexico, we wouldn’t hesitate to implement them here, but we just haven’t seen the data that supports that,” said Governor Polis.

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