Posted inCOVID, Health, News

Colorado deactivates crisis standards for health care system as COVID cases decline

Colorado on Thursday deactivated so-called crisis standards of care for the health care system, another sign of the improving pandemic and the state’s move toward handling COVID as a normal part of life. Crisis standards of care provide guidance and liability protection to health care workers when they are dealing with situations where they don’t […]

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Colorado hospital mortality rates spiked 35% when pandemic started, report finds

Colorado hospitals saw significant increases in their patient death rates during surges of COVID-19 cases, just one of the revealing findings contained within a new report produced by the state’s hospital association. The report, released last week by the Colorado Hospital Association, uses discharge and claims data to paint a broad picture of how the […]

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Colorado’s omicron-driven COVID wave appears to have crested — but not everywhere in the state

Colorado’s record-breaking wave of COVID infections caused by the virus’s omicron variant appears to have crested, state officials said Thursday. Reports of new infections began declining about a week ago, as did the percentage of tests coming back positive. “We have multiple ways of looking at data to try to estimate if the decrease we […]

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An omicron curveball: At two Colorado hospital systems, most COVID patients aren’t there for COVID

As Colorado’s hospitals work to keep up with an influx of patients during the state’s latest surge of coronavirus infections, two hospital systems have made an intriguing discovery: Most of their current patients who are positive for COVID are not in the hospital due to the disease. Instead, the patients are what might be called […]

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Will COVID patients who reject vaccines embrace monoclonal antibodies? Colorado is counting on it.

To Dr. Adit Ginde, it’s a now-familiar conundrum. Ginde is an emergency medicine physician with UCHealth. One of his responsibilities involves working with the clinics that provide monoclonal antibody treatments to people infected with the coronavirus. And many of the patients he sees in that role have not been vaccinated against the virus. He knows […]

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Did Colorado’s COVID vaccine mandate for health care workers hurt hospital staffing? It’s complicated.

At his hospital on Colorado’s Western Slope, Jeff Mengenhausen sees the strain afflicting hospitals across the state. The ICU at Montrose Memorial Hospital is full — and likely will stay full for months, he said. Every time a bed opens up, a patient gets transferred in to fill it. His workforce is taxed. The hospital […]

Posted inCOVID, Health, News, Politics and Government

Colorado’s governor always said hospital capacity would dictate a new mask mandate. So why hasn’t he issued one?

In early August, as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations first began rising in Colorado following a summer lull, Gov. Jared Polis stood before reporters to answer questions about the worrying trend. Asked when he might consider reissuing a statewide mask mandate or other such aggressive virus-fighting actions, he was clear. “We will not overwhelm our hospitals,” […]

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Colorado loosening requirements for hospital staff as COVID continues to surge

Colorado health officials announced Tuesday that they will give hospitals a break from normal staffing requirements and expectations, part of an effort to help hospitals better handle the personnel shortages they face as coronavirus infections continue to surge across the state. By authorizing so-called “crisis standards of care” related to staffing, the Colorado Department of […]

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What is driving Colorado’s COVID surge? Not even the experts are sure.

The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus infections in Colorado fell slightly Thursday, offering a bit more breathing room to the state’s overloaded hospitals. But, as hospitals begin implementing more aggressive transfer protocols and health care workers continue to sound an alarm about the direction of the pandemic in Colorado, no one is celebrating. “For […]

Posted inCOVID, Health, News

Colorado hospitals are so full they just did something they haven’t done all pandemic

The Colorado Hospital Association announced Wednesday that it is activating Tier 3 of the state’s Combined Hospital Transfer Center. How bad is that? Hospitals didn’t have to activate Tier 3, the highest level, during even the busiest months of last winter’s COVID surge. But what the hospital association calls “monumental strain” on the health care […]