COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy reports between October 1 the 14, COVID cases in Colorado increased by 61%. According to Dr. Herlihy, that data was tracked per the 100,000 population.
This spike puts Colorado as the 14th highest state for COVID transmission in the U.S.
“There are two things that are really driving this; one, that Colorado has seen an increase in cases over the last two weeks," Dr. Herlihy said. "But what is also occurring and increasing our ranking here, is that many parts of the country are seeing a decline in cases right now.”
Scott Bookman, the COVID Commander for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, reports hospitalizations are currently at a record high for this year.
“We had 982 people hospitalized in Colorado and that is actually the highest we have seen this entire year," Bookman said. "We would have to go back to December 2020 to find a time when more people were hospitalized with COVID.”
Southern Colorado is also feeling the strain from increased COVID cases.
“We’re not at the highest level of hospitalizations yet, but we are getting there,” Dr. David Steinbruner, the Chief Medical Officer for UCHealth Southern Region said.
Dr. Steinbruner told KRDO more than 70% of the current COVID hospitalizations are not vaccinated.
As of Wednesday, over 90% of acute care hospital beds are in use across the state. The spike in cases is straining hospitals already struggling with a decreased amount of healthcare workers.
“We had to make a difficult decision to cancel all elective in-patient surgeries and what that does is frees up beds and adds staff so we can care for an increase of acutely ill patients who end up in the ER,” he said.
Beginning Thursday, Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo will move to only one visitor per patient in 24 hours due to the daily increases of COVID hospitalizations and tight bed capacity.