El Paso County to move to Safer at Home Level 2 status; CDPHE indicates Colorado will hit a record number of hospitalizations

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El Paso County to move to Safer at Home Level 2 status in the state’s dial framework

In response to recent increases in COVID-19 case rates, test positivity, and hospitalizations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) notified El Paso County Friday morning that El Paso County must move to Safer at Home Level 2: Concern in the state’s dial framework by 5 p.m. on Nov. 4.

Read the news release from El Paso County Public Health

Statement from Mayor John Suthers

"While I’m disappointed that the State is moving us to Level 2, it is not surprising. Our numbers have been over the threshold for Level 1 for several weeks now, and technically are high enough to push us into Level 3. I’m grateful to the El Paso County Health Department for their efforts to create a mitigation plan, which keeps us from taking more drastic measures at this time. But make no mistake, if our numbers do not turn around, we will see further restrictions on our economy, and more importantly, we could see avoidable loss of life." 

CDPHE: Newest COVID-19 model indicates Colorado will hit a record number of hospitalizations from the pandemic within two weeks

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado School of Public Health released an updated modeling report showing that hospitalizations from SARS-CoV-2 continue to increase rapidly across the state.  

On the current epidemic curve, Colorado will likely exceed the April peak in hospitalizations within two weeks. If the epidemic curve is not bent, Colorado could surpass intensive care unit (ICU) capacity in January. If contacts increase over the holidays (for example, due to gatherings between multiple households), ICU capacity could be exceeded in December. As announced by the state last week, gatherings should be limited to no more than 10 people from a maximum of two households. 

Read the full news release from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Statement from Dr. David Steinbruner, chief medical officer, UCHealth Memorial 

"Every step that we take to limit the spread of this virus will help to keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients and the critically ill.  At the moment, our capacity to manage the rising number of COVID-19 patients within our walls is manageable.  However, this could change dramatically over the next several weeks if the current trend in total number of cases and the current positivity rate continue to rise.  We have learned a tremendous amount about the course of the SARS-CoV-2 infection and the best ways to treat patients, but there is much that we do not yet know about the long-term effects on those who have become seriously ill and recovered.  What we do know is that behind every surge of community cases comes a rise in the number of hospitalized patients requiring increased resources and increased medical care. This will have a profound effect not only upon those needing care but also their families and our ability to support our community and keep our economy running.  

How quickly the virus spreads is within our control.   We ask our fellow citizens to take these warnings seriously, to pay attention to the modeling, to use masks, avoid unnecessary gatherings and work together to slow the spread. And most importantly, isolate yourself if you have symptoms so you don’t expose others.” 

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