DENVER — Governor Polis spoke to Coloradans today to provide an update on the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Kyle Leggott of UCHealth and Dr. Sean O'Leary from Children's Hospital also spoke at the press conference.
The press conference comes as cases in the state continue to climb following a low in July. According to CDC data, there were over 13,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Colorado in the past week.
Dr. O'Leary believes that with the Delta variant, if you are unvaccinated, "it's not an if but when" you get infected.
Dr. O'Leary emphasized the virus' impact on children, with over 1,000 children having been hospitalized in Colorado. Several children have passed away, and O'Leary characterized the children ICUs as "overflowing."
Hospitals in Colorado are feeling the pressure. ICUs across the state are nearly full.
Hospitals in pueblo are overwhelmed, and Parkview Medical Center is delaying certain elective surgeries.
The hospitalizations are largely coming from the unvaccinated population. 76% of eligible Coloradans are vaccinated. The remaining 24% make up 84% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 and 95% of the patients on ventilators. Many of the vaccinated patients who are hospitalized are immunocompromised.
Governor Polis told Coloradans that the "simplest thing we can do to end this threat is to get vaccinated." He followed up by saying that the current iteration of COVID cases is "largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated," and that many of the vaccinated patients are immunocompromised.
Currently, there are more people receiving booster shots in Colorado than receiving the first shot of the vaccine.
Mask wearing indoors was also recommended by Dr. O'Leary at the press conference, and he emphasized that masks in schools have lowered outbreaks.
Click here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.