COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis provided an update Tuesday afternoon on increasing hospitalizations statewide due to COVID-19 and invited several Coloradans who have been hospitalized to share their stories.
The state saw 1,433 new cases today with 538 people currently hospitalized.
Polis began the press conference by addressing increasing hospitalizations statewide and that they must be able to serve all patients, not just COVID-19 patients. The daily count of admissions is at its highest since April 29, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
"The path we're on for the winter months ahead is up to us," he said. New COVID-19 modeling data predicts the state of Colorado will exceed the April peak in hospitalizations within the next few months if Coloradans don’t act quickly to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The projection, which was released Friday evening by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado School of Public Health, warned the window to improve transmission control of the virus should happen over the next several weeks, otherwise we would see a stress in critical care capacity across the state.
Hospitalization increases are being seen in many age groups across Colorado with the median age of hospitalization at 57 years old. Polis said
The governor was joined by several Coloradans who were hospitalized as a result of COVID-19. Barbara Gould was hospitalized for 91 days and on a ventilator for 65 of those days.
"It's too soon to tell what the new normal is going to be," Gould said as she described health issues she continues to face following her hospitalization.
This follows his press conference last week where he addressed the rapid increase of COVID-19 across the state and urged Coloradans to continue practice social distancing and wearing masks.
The governor did not deny whether the state would return to the conditions we saw in spring given the current direction of the coronavirus, but he said that moving forward it's about learning to live with the virus in a safe way. State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said the state is seeing its third wave of the virus and we are seeing the highest number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
She addressed the accelerating rate of hospitalizations and that the state can expect, based on the current trajectory, we are on track to exceed hospitalizations than what the state saw in spring.
"The more we do, the more we protect ourselves and our families," she said.
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