By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Hospitals across Colorado have activated the highest level for the state’s Combined Hospital Transfer Center. That’s because hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.

Hospitals are dealing with escalating COVID-19 cases and an increasing number of general hospitalizations.

(credit: CBS)

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The highest level, Tier 3, allows the state and hospitals to send patients, both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19, anywhere in Colorado when one facility is full or cannot care for an acutely ill patient.

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The Combined Hospital Transfer Center was re-activated at Tier 1 in August when COVID-19 hospitalizations were beginning to increase.

(credit: CBS)

“This is an extraordinary step taken by the state’s hospitals and health systems,” said Darlene Tad-y, MD, CHA vice president of clinical affairs in a statement. “Even when under immense pressure, the state’s health care system continues to work collaboratively with each other and our partners at the state to ensure the best care possible is available to every Coloradan that needs it. However, activating Tier 3 of the CHTC should send a clear message to Coloradans: our health care system is in jeopardy of being overwhelmed.

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“Our frontline health care workers and hospitals need everyone’s help to get through this. Please continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, and watch your distance when out in public, and, if you’re able, get a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s also crucial that individuals continue to seek health care at the right level, the right time, and the right place. The best solution for our capacity issues right now is to lower the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and we need help from all Coloradans to do that.”

Jennifer McRae