Colorado Hits 80% Vaccine Rate With Hospitals in Covid-19 Crisis

Colorado Hits 80% Vaccine Rate With Hospitals in Covid-19 Crisis

Eighty percent of Colorado residents have received at least one Covid-19 vaccination, Governor Jared Polis announced Monday, while warning surging infections among the unvaccinated are bringing the state closer to rationing hospital care “in the next few days.”

“It’s the 20% who haven’t been vaccinated that are filling up our hospital wards,” Polis said at a news briefing in Denver. “We would have none of these hospital capacity issues, or orders would be operative, if everybody was vaccinated.”

“This is particularly tragic now because it’s essentially entirely preventable,” Polis said. The state may soon ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to augment stretched hospital staffing, he said, in addition to employing the crisis standards that set guidelines for rationing care, he said. 

Colorado has one of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. though hospital bed occupancy in both intensive care units and medical-surgical units has been averaging about 90% in recent weeks, officials have warned. Nearby Idaho, a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S., is actively rationing hospital care. 

On Sunday, Polis issues a executive order to allow hospitals to turn away new patients. The state has also placed limits on cosmetic surgery and is shifting monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19 out of hospitals to mobile clinics.

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