COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A doctor at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs is sounding the alarm about rising cases and hospitalizations.
Dr. Michael Roshon weathered the last peak in April, but he says hospitalizations are once again on the rise.
"We have definitely seen the highest rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19 that we have throughout the whole pandemic," he said.
It's not just a trend Penrose Hospital is seeing. As of Tuesday morning, UCHealth is now caring for more than 75 patients with COVID-19, compared to the 57 patients at its peak in April.
Penrose Hospital wasn't able to provide numbers on how many beds they have available or how many are being used, but they did say they've gotten creative.
"We've made a lot of adjustments to care for COVID patients and to be able to handle these surges. We have special areas in the hospital that we've set up that only care for COVID patients. We have extra ventilators we can use if we need to," Dr. Roshon said.
At the rate we're going, Dr. Roshon said the supplies could run out.
"If we don't get this under control now, then we will be underwater and it's not just Penrose St. Francis, not just Colorado Springs, it's all of Colorado," he said.
If you don't understand what hospital capacity means and why it's so important, Dr. Roshon explains it in simpler terms.
"It means the rooms to take care of people, the rooms, the drugs, the ventilators. Any one of those dominos begin to fall and you lose capacity," he said.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. Roshon said they're able to get people in and out of ICU beds a bit quicker compared to February, when they first began seeing cases.
"We've learned so much about how to care for the virus. We know more of what to do. We know what the trajectory is going to be. We have more weapons against the virus than we did back in the early days," he said.
Hospital beds aren't just getting taken up by COVID patients. Patients with elective surgeries and other health problems are now using resources up too.
"Colorado Springs under normal winter is tight on beds anyway, as the flu comes through, as people get sick with regular things and have heart problems, cancer. We are always tight in the winter," Dr. Roshon said.
He said while there isn't a vaccine just yet, there is something people can do that has proven effective, including wearing a mask and limiting the number of people you come into contact with.