EL PASO COUNTY — Leaders at hospitals in Colorado Springs want everyone to understand the current rapidly rising danger and potential long-term impacts of COVID-19.
"If this number continues to grow, it's very hard maintaining current operations,” said UC Health Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Steinbruner. The current rate of rising numbers could overwhelm hospitals before the end of the year.
Hospital leaders are also concerned with people letting prevention measures slide. They are happening to say treatment success is improving. At the same time, there is a reality check.
"It's not just right now. I get sick, they get me better. I get out of the hospital," said Dr. Steinbruner, "It's, I get better maybe or may have long-term effects that could affect my heart, could affect my lungs, could affect my ability to fight disease in the future."
Dr. Michael DiStefano with Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs warns to not overlook kids.
"We potentially may be seeing long term effect in our patient population.” The unknowns are why doctors at Children's Hospital, say kids that have had COVID should get a doctor's OK before returning to a strenuous activity like sports.
DiStefano also says little kids do not get a pass on COVID prevention measures. If they are older than two, get them to wear a mask.
“It's very important to keep your kids masked and socially distant during this time.” More than 2,000 kids have tested positive for COVID-19 in El Paso County.