State has reactivated the Crisis Standards of Care Plan in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.

Hospital beds are becoming more rare in the midst of a COVID surge combined with staffing shortages straining hospitals statewide, and in response to the hospital crisis, a committee has drafted a statewide plan based on a tiered system for worst case scenarios. Anuj Mehta, from Denver Health drafted a hospital crisis care plan as the state has reactivated Crisis Standards of Care Plan. “The last step is triage. And, by triage I mean unfortunately, allocating certain resources to some patients, and maybe other patients receiving less than standard or allocating more palliative options to them,” said Mehta.

The plan decides the order of treatment for patients, who will be receiving in-patient care or out-patient care, and the allocation of resources like ventilators or ICU beds. The committee says no one will be excluded from care, the plan is only a draft, and you should still seek care if necessary.

At last report, there are 78 total patients hospitalized with COVID in the county, and Mesa County Public Health has issued a capacity alert warning local hospitals are diverting patients and activating surge plans.

The county’s data shows hospital beds at almost 99% capacity and staffed ICU beds at almost 96% capacity.

Community Hospital currently has 13 COVID patients and an official says they’ve had a surge plan in place since February. The official released a statement saying, “It remains a very fluid situation. We are seeing longer lengths of stay and higher acuity with COVID patients.”

November 2020 was Mesa County’s deadliest month with 45 deaths due to COVID-19. At last report, county health data shows 18 deaths in the last two weeks and over 1,500 new COVID cases. In both instances, more than 80% of the people are unvaccinated.

The state shows over 1,400 hospitalized COVID patients , an increase of 135 in five days, and the current surge could break the record high of more than 1,800 set in December 2020.

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