By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – More than a third of hospitals and facilities in Colorado anticipate a staff shortage in the next week, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. More than 50 new COVID-19 hospitalizations were reported across the state on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 1,428.

(credit: CBS)

Of the 1,809 available ICU beds in Colorado, 1,547 or 86% are currently in use. CDPHE reports 262 ICU beds are available in facilities across the state.

If the rate of transmission continues at its current rate, state epidemiologists predict Colorado will exceed hospital capacity by mid to late December.

(credit: CDPHE)

Three alternative care sites remain available and ready to operate in the event that hospitals run out of room.

Inside the Colorado Convention Center earlier this year. (credit: CBS)

State officials have set up overflow beds at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, St. Mary Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo and St. Anthony North Family Medicine on 84th Avenue in Westminster.

RELATED: Denver Paramedics Face COVID Fatigue As Third Spike Ramps Up

On Nov. 13, Gov. Jared Polis signed an Executive Order directing general hospitals to submit a plan to the state with their maximum surge bed count by Nov. 18 and a complete surge plan by Nov. 20. The plan must include:

  • A detailed plan to potentially increase bed capacity by at least 50% and provide staffing and medical equipment for such increase.
  • Strategies to increase the number of ICU beds by transitioning medical and surgical beds to ICU beds if needed.
  • A detailed staffing plan, sufficient to provide adequate care for all beds, including those in use or available to patients other than COVID-19 patients.
  • A mandate for elective procedures to be actively managed, reduced and/or delayed if there is a surge of COVID-19 infections in the county or municipality in which the Facility is located.

CDPHE reported 4,650 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. In Colorado, 20-29 year-olds make up 22.67% of cases in the state, the largest percentage of any age group.

More than 41,000 people were tested for the virus on Tuesday. The 7-day average positivity rate in Colorado is 12.88%.

CDPHE updates the COVID-19 data each day at 4 p.m. at

Colorado COVID-19 Data, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday:


  • 41,034 tests conducted on Nov. 17 with 12.88% positivity rate (7-day moving average)
  • 12.47% daily positivity rate on Nov. 17

Hospital Data:

  • 1,428 Patients currently hospitalized, 92% of facilities reporting (+50)
  • 165 Patients under investigation for probable cases, not lab confirmed (+0)
  • 191 Patients discharged/transferred in past 24 hours (+15)
  • 31% Facilities anticipating staff shortages within next week (+4%)
  • 2% Facilities anticipating PPE shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 13% Facilities anticipating ICU bed shortages within next week (+2%)
  • 47% Adult critical care ventilators in use (+3%)
  • 86% of ICU Beds in use (1809 available, 1547 in use, 262 available)

Case Summary:

  • 176,694 cases (+4,650)
  • 11,802 hospitalized (+194)
  • 1,511,200 tested (+19,819)
  • 2,640,615 test encounters (+41,034)
  • 2,651 deaths among cases (+43)
  • 2,324 deaths due to COVID-19 (+25)
  • 1,810 outbreaks (+92)

Audra Streetman