DENVER (CBS4) – In a regular news briefing on the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, Dr. Jon Samet, the Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health presented several models that show how the epidemic may play out in Colorado. In a graphic summarizing the modeling, Dr. Samet listed that “In most scenarios, we expect the next peak to be larger than the April peak.”

A sign directs people to drop off masks at the new Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination Systems delivered to Colorado by FEMA and HHS on May 8, 2020 in Brighton. The decontamination system can process up to 80,000 used N95 respirators per day using vapor phase hydrogen peroxide that kills coronavirus and allows masks to be reused 20 times without degradation.

A sign directs people to drop off masks at the new Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination Systems delivered to Colorado by FEMA and HHS on May 8 in Brighton. The decontamination system can process up to 80,000 used N95 respirators per day using vapor phase hydrogen peroxide that kills coronavirus and allows masks to be reused 20 times without degradation. (credit: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

The modeling takes into account all the ways the state is currently trying to maintain social distancing: encouraging people to stay 6 feet apart and wear masks as well as asking older Coloradans to stay at home as much as possible. Engaging in all those precautions keeps social distancing at a level of 65%, which according to the modeling will not overwhelm the hospital system.

Battelle decontamination technicians talk as they prepare to run a test of one of the new Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination Systems. (credit: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

If fewer Coloradans adhere to the current health guidelines, and social distancing reaches 55% or even 45% this summer, the modeling shows that hospitals will be overwhelmed and run out of ICU beds by about mid-August.

Dr. Rachel Herlihy

Dr. Rachel Herlihy (credit: CBS)

“As far as what we are asking the public to do, it’s really to have … fewer than half as many interactions as they would normally,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “So we want individuals to get out and enjoy the summer and get outdoors, but to do it in a safe way and to do it in small groups, and perhaps when you’re interacting with others, you know, do it a bit less frequently than you may have otherwise in previous years.”

Additional Resources

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is releasing new coronavirus data each day at 4 p.m. at covid19.colorado.gov. Health officials are tracking the total number of confirmed cases, people tested, deaths and outbreaks. Confirmed cases are also classified by county, age, sex, race and ethnicity.

CDPHE also launched a website listing the most recent hospital data, including the number of patients currently hospitalized and patients transferred or discharged within 24 hours: covid19.colorado.gov/hospital-data.