DENVER (KRDO) -- Colorado may be months away from another flu season, but Gov. Jared Polis is already beginning preparations.
In a letter penned to Robert Redfield, Director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Polis says Colorado is in need of additional resources to prevent the combined impact of both flu and COVID-19 patients from overwhelming the Colorado Health Care system.
The governor is asking the CDC for more flu vaccines, PPE supplies, and asking the CDC to emphasize to the public the importance of getting a flu shot this year.
Polis believes one of the largest threats in continued success in fighting COVID-19 is the flu, and that his administration has been working towards increasing the vaccination rates this year.
"But we need to do even more this coming flu season especially among older Coloradans and our vulnerable residents," said Governor Polis in the letter sent to the CDC. "(We need to) to reduce the number of flu victims in need of hospitalization and free up those beds for COVID-19 patients if
At Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo the preparations for Flu season during an ongoing pandemic has already begun.
“We have focused so much effort and energy on COVID-19 that influenza might be left in the dust in terms of hospital preparation,” said Dr. Sandeep Vijan at Parkview Medical Center.
Dr. Vijan says the hospital will begin stockpiling PPE in the coming months for the start of flu season in September. However, the peak flu season doesn't truly begin until November.
According to Dr Vijan, Parkview hospitalizes around 20 to 25 flu patients a month during peak flu season.
But with a global pandemic, this flu season could look different than years past.
“There is a chance this fall that we could see co-infections which mean patients would have influenza and COVID-19 sometimes together and sometimes back to back," said Dr. Vijan. "We are worried about how dangerous those infections might be. Prevention is better than treatment so I tell everybody today what we’ve done for COVID-19 well do for influenza as well."
Dr. Vijan says the best way to keep hospitals from getting overcrowded this flu season is by getting your flu shot.
However, all of the same rules for COVID-19 apply for the flu. You are encouraged to continue wearing a mask, washing your hands, disinfecting your homes. And If you are feeling sick stay home.