DENVER (CBS4) – Infectious disease experts say a surge in COVID-19 cases is possible in the weeks following Thanksgiving. Hospitals are now taking steps to increase ICU bed capacity.

There are now 1,682 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Colorado hospitals. On Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 4,270 new cases of the virus.

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A regional map of ICU bed availability from CDPHE shows hospitals have reached capacity in the San Luis Valley along with the southwest and southeast corners of the state.

(credit: CDPHE)

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Earlier this month, the Colorado Hospital Association activated Tier 1 of the Combined Hospital Transfer Center to manage the increase in hospitalizations. The system allows hospitals to transfer patients if they run out of room or require a different level of care.

“One of the best practices we learned from other states that have already responded to significant outbreaks was to stand up a statewide transfer center,” said Darlene Tad-y, MD, CHA vice president of clinical affairs. “This will allow us to respond rapidly to capacity issues that a city or region of Colorado may face and to ensure that we are fully utilizing the capacity of our state’s entire hospital system.”

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Nearly half of the state’s adult critical care ventilators are currently in use. More than 1 in 3 hospitals and facilities in the state anticipate a staff shortage in the next week.

(credit: UCHealth)

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

Testing:

  • 45,689 tests conducted on Nov. 26 with 11.09% positivity rate (7-day moving average)
  • 11.62% daily positivity rate on Nov. 26

Hospital Data:

  • 1,682 Patients currently hospitalized, 92% of facilities reporting (+17)
  • 115 Patients under investigation for probable cases, not lab confirmed (+3)
  • 175 Patients discharged/transferred in past 24 hours (+21)
  • 36% Facilities anticipating staff shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 1% Facilities anticipating PPE shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 12% Facilities anticipating ICU bed shortages within next week (-1%)
  • 49% Critical care ventilators in use (+1%)
  • 79% of ICU Beds in use (361 available)

Case Summary:

  • 220,953 cases (+4,270)
  • 13,287 hospitalized (+39)
  • 1,707,374 tested (+17,717)
  • 3,091,838 test encounters (+45,689)
  • 2,977 deaths among cases (+20)
  • 2,521 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
  • 2,131 outbreaks (+14)
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CDPHE updates COVID-19 data daily at covid19.colorado.gov/data.