DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado health officials want to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. On Monday night, there were 513 people hospitalized with confirmed cases of coronavirus. That’s the highest number since mid-May.
There are still plenty of hospital beds across the state, but the Colorado Convention Center remains an option if things don’t turn around. Hospitals are preparing for an increase in hospitalizations as cases continue to rise.
There is also concern about what a pandemic and the flu season could mean for hospital systems.
“This winter, we will be glad to have all of the hospital beds we have in the state,” said Katherine Mulready, Senior Vice President of the Colorado Hospital Association. “Having excess beds at the Convention Center will really help us manage the volume of patients that need care.”
The Colorado Hospital Association represents all hospitals in the state. It says resources, like the alternate care site the Colorado Convention Center, serve as a backup plan if hospitals are overwhelmed.
“It will be critical in helping us move patients through hospitals to provide the highest level of care to the patients that need it most,” Mulready said. “If we do continue to see these cases rise, and if we have a particularly bad flu season, we might get to a point where our hospital capacity is really strained.”
Earlier this month, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a modeling report to track a rise in hospitalizations across the state. It says if the state stays on the same track, Colorado could see a peak in hospitalizations by November, and exceed ICU hospital capacity by December.
“We often are a regional referral center for the entire Rocky Mountain west, and while Denver is the largest city and the urban hub, we serve patients, and our hospitals serve patients, that come from other parts of the state, and across the region,” said Mulready. “It’s critical we maintain the safety net that we need.”
There are other alternate care sites in Westminster and Pueblo to help with hospitals at capacity due to the pandemic as well.