COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Like many other hospital systems across Colorado, UCHealth in Colorado Springs has noticed a significant uptick in COVID cases in recent weeks.
Thursday, El Paso County's positivity rate was at 15% and UCHealth hospitals reported caring for roughly 150 COVID-19 patients.
UCHealth says a nursing shortage was a problem before the pandemic and it's now much worse.
As the virus spreads across the community, doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists are at a high risk of contracting the virus both in and outside of work.
Dr. David Steinbruner, the Chief Medical Officer for UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, said he's concerned about overwhelming staff.
"Every time we move forward with a larger number of patients, we have to retract what we can do and sort of figure out how to cut corners on normal charting and things we do all the time, which are part of overall safety and overall regulation and push the limits," he said.
Steinbruner said nurses who wouldn't normally be working with patients are now training with other nurses to get out on the hospital floor. Doctors, too, are having to move from clinics into UCHealth hospitals.