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Pueblo hospitals dealing with rapid rise in cases

Parkview hospital hit capacity Monday
Pueblo hospitals dealing with rapid rise in cases
Posted at 1:31 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 19:00:48-05

PUEBLO — As Colorado continues to see a sharp rise in cases, Pueblo appears to be one of the biggest hotspots, not just in the state, but in the nation.

A recent New York Times report ranked Pueblo #2 in the nation for fastest-growing case numbers. And that record rise has really been testing the limits of the city’s hospitals, putting them into overdrive.

“Our hospital system is in a period of significant stress right now,” Gov. Jared Polis said at his press conference Tuesday.

He made it clear Colorado, specifically southern Colorado is not immune from hospital crowding. “We know that Parkview Hospital in Pueblo reached more than 100% capacity… 100 COVID patients,” he said.

A report released by the New York Times suggests Pueblo is seeing the second-fastest increase in cases in the country, behind only Quincy, Illinois. According to the report, Pueblo gained nearly a thousand cases in just the last week alone.

“We know we’ve been seeing an uptick in cases and positive cases here for the last couple weeks,” said Racheal Morris, spokeperson for Parkview Hospital.

When Parkview hit capacity Monday, it meant calling in extra resources. “At that point, we utilized our resources and relationship with UC Health, and we initiated the process of transfers,” Morris said.

But there is some good news. “Today and yesterday we are able to accept COVID patients, so we are no longer at capacity or over capacity,” Morris said.

In order to stay that way, Parkview is still cutting back on elective surgeries.

“There are some cases where the surgeon feels that it needs to be done immediately and we can get those in. So it’s really a case by case basis,” she said.

Whether hospitals have the capacity or not, officials want to make it clear, if you need any medical help, do not feel like you can’t get it.

“We don’t want folks to overlook or be scared about going to the hospital because we know that there are health concerns that happen outside of COVID, unfortunately,” she said.