DENVER (CBS4) – With cases climbing and hospitalizations reaching the highest levels in months, Colorado health officials are beginning to get concerned.
“We’ve worked really hard to put the right policies in place, it’s really up to people’s behavior to maintain this progress in the coming weeks and months,” Gov. Jared Polis said on Tuesday. “Here’s what concerns us, we’ve seen a trend in increased hospitalizations. We cannot continue this trend. We have to do better to avoid overwhelming our hospitals. That means doubling down on the basics. Wear a mask, socially distance.”
What concerns experts most is that cases dropped before other holidays this year, which they believe limited the outbreaks around Memorial Day and Fourth of July. They believe the increases now are from Labor day and school reopenings.
“We know that people mix more during the holidays. I think the concern on our part and the governor and CDPHE, is that first we don’t like the curve going up, and second we don’t like the curve going up as we head into the holidays when we mix, we travel,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet the Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health.
The CSPH helps provide models to health officials.
“We’re looking at how things are varying across the state because really the course of the epidemic varies in our urban and rural communities. We’re trying to tailor our work to better inform the decision makers in Colorado,” Samet said.
“This is a concerning trend for us. We haven’t seen a decrease from what we believe was a Labor Day spike. We continue to see a plateau in these age groups, and we are now, as the governor mentioned, see this translate into pretty substantial increases in hospitalizations in the state,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the State Epidemiologist for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Polis urged people to take more precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He said he’s not concerned about current hospitalization levels, but does see an issue on the horizon.
“We want to make sure that quality of care at a hospital is available for all of those that need it. Because in most cases it will save their life,” Polis said.