1/4 Coloradans are unvaccinated but account for 81% of hospitalizations; fewer than 200 ICU beds available

Local News

'They are canceling scheduled surgeries, they are even closing some of their clinics in outlying facilities'

DENVER (KDVR) — Unvaccinated Coloradans account for a disproportionate amount of the state’s hospitalizations, according to the latest data from Colorado’s health department.

Out of the 894 Coloradans hospitalized with COVID-19, 726 of them are unvaccinated. While 168 of those patients are fully vaccinated, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data indicates most of them are age 65 years or older and have compromised immune systems.

Gov. Polis discussed the latest vaccine mandate announced by President Biden and how it affects Colorado in his latest press briefing Friday.

You can re-watch the briefing on FOX31 NOW in the player below.

Fewer than 200 ICU beds available in Colorado: ‘They are canceling scheduled surgeries, they are even closing some of their clinics’

State leaders are warning people to remain COVID-aware. In Friday’s COVID-19 update, health officials said Colorado is at a critical point.

“As of today, we are at 902 COVID hospitalizations in our state. That represents the second-highest amount of COVID hospitalizations at any point in this pandemic. It has now eclipsed the first wave that we saw in the spring of 2020,” CDPHE Incident Commander Scott Bookman said.

Hospitalizations are up in Colorado. The governor said only 17 of them are pediatric cases but hospitals are running out of space and power.

“As of yesterday, we dipped below 200 ICU beds available in our state,” Bookman said.

People going back to their everyday lives is believed to be a main driver of the latest wave of the illness, causing the hospitals to investigate ways to make more room.

“Our hospitals are beginning to put into place their surge plans. Many are opening up additional ICU beds, they are canceling scheduled surgeries, they are even closing some of their clinics in outlying facilities so they can bring staff in to increase staffing levels there,” said Bookman.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said unvaccinated cases make up 81% of hospitalizations.

The governor expressed disappointment in people who are not vaccinated, hoping the president’s new vaccine guidance can get more shots in arms here.

“We’re seeing needless hospitalizations; we’re seeing needless deaths. The vaccine is completely free and widely available, and people shouldn’t have to wait until their employer, president or others tell them to get it. You should seek it out,” Polis said.

As for what Biden’s new vaccine plan means for Coloradans, Polis said today he is still waiting for federal guidance as it relates to enforcing and implementing requirements laid out by the president. He said he has the same information as the public right now, but he expects to hear from the federal Department of Labor in the coming days.

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