Hospital bed shortage grows across state
A statewide shortage of ICU beds continues to concern local public health officials.
As of Monday, just 81 ICU beds were available in Colorado. In the Foothills RETAC region, which Grand County is a part of, just five beds are available — down from 11 beds last week. Multiple regions in Colorado have no ICU beds available.
There are three Grand County residents currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 and all three are unvaccinated, according to Grand County Public Health. According to statewide reporting, 83% of the 1,565 people hospitalized in Colorado due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
The state also reports that 46% of facilities anticipate staffing shortages in the next week and 41% expect ICU bed shortages in the next week.
In Grand County, there have been 34 cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days. Just 3% of those cases were pediatric, meaning in children under 18. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains the same for the county, at 10 since the pandemic began.
Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker told county commissioners on Tuesday that she is anticipating a rise in COVID-19 cases due to visitors, holidays, travel and increased indoor activity.
She added that other mountain resort communities are discussing a possible regional approach to help control COVID-19 cases during the ski season. No decisions have been made, and Baker said she hasn’t conveyed any position for Grand County.
Baker explained she mainly wanted the commissioners to be aware of and able to participate in these conversations.
With hospital demand so high across the state, some Front Range counties have begun reinstating indoor mask mandates. The Grand County commissioners, representing the board of health, have had no such discussions at their meetings.
Boosters shots are available and encouraged for all adults in Colorado due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in the state. Boosters are available for people over 18 who received their second vaccine dose more than six months ago, or who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago.
Children over 5 are now eligible to receive Pfizer’s vaccine. See vaccine and booster offerings across the county at http://www.co.grand.co.us/vaccine.
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