Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

With COVID-19 numbers rising, Colorado activates crisis standards of care

The highly contagious Delta variant is causing an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado, and on Wednesday, the state reactivated crisis standards of care for hospitals.

This allows hospitals in Colorado to prioritize staff for emergencies and have the flexibility to move workers to different units. State officials stressed that this does not mean patients won't get acute emergency treatment, and people should still go to the hospital if they need medical treatment. Because of the surge in cases, more than a third of hospitals reporting to the state said in the next week, they expect to have a shortage of intensive care unit beds, and about 40 percent will be short-staffed, 9 News reports.

About 1,431 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado, and 80 percent of them are unvaccinated. During the state's peak in December 2020, there were 1,800 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. To try to push the numbers down, Colorado is now letting anyone 18 and older receive a COVID-19 booster shot. "With an estimated 1 in 48 Coloradans infected, it is likely that all Coloradans can be exposed to COVID-19 where they live or work," Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment spokeswoman Jessica Bralish said.