COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — As COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in El Paso County, Colorado Springs City Council on Monday asked the leaders of local hospitals how they’re faring with personal protective equipment, capacity levels, intensive care units, and if they’re taking in patients from out-of-state.
Though COVID-19 cases have been increasing for about a month in El Paso County, the consensus is that hospitals still have enough resources to handle the demand.
Dr. Bill Plauth and Dr. David Steinbruner serve as the chief medical officer for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and interim chief medical officer for UCHealth, respectively.
One of the questions the city council asked the leaders is whether or not Colorado Springs hospitals are taking in patients from hotspot states like Arizona and Texas. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has previously said in a press conference that the state would consider it.
“We are seeing some of those demands. Obviously a state that has a high incidence and is starting to inundate its hospitals is going to reach out for help,” Dr. Steinbruner said. “We’re starting to see that on the edges. We want to help, but we want to protect our own ability in our community to take care of our community.”
Cary Vogrin, the media relations specialist at UCHealth, put Dr. Steinbruner’s statement into context.
“To date, UCHealth Memorial has admitted one patient with COVID-19 from out of state,” Vogrin said. “As of this afternoon, UCHealth’s hospitals in the Pikes Peak region were caring for about 30 patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 or who are awaiting test results.”
Vogrin says although that number is higher than prior months, it’s about half the number of coronavirus patients compared to what UCHealth cared for during the peak of coronavirus in Colorado in April.