Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is giving an update and answering questions about the state's rising number of COVID-19 cases Thursday.
Watch below starting around 12:30 p.m.
Counties across Colorado have seen a new spike in COVID-19 cases, and several areas have had significant increases in two-week incidence rates. El Paso County, Denver County, and Pueblo County are all above 350 incidents per 100,000 people, which is the threshold for a potential return to stay at home orders.
Gov. Polis said the state has now surpassed its highest level of hospitalized patients due to COVID-19. The current number of 894 exceeds numbers seen in the beginning of the pandemic.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy and Gov. Polis asked Coloradans to do three things for the entire month of November:
- Only interact with members of your household. Don't go to any public gatherings.
- Keep your distance if you do have to go out.
- Always wear a mask if you have to go out.
According to new models presented, if the state continues at its current rate of transmission and hospitalizations, Colorado could be at risk of exceeding ICU capacity by December.
For El Paso County hospitalizations, data from the County Health Department's website shows that as of Wednesday there are 74 COVID-19 positive hospitalizations. A UC Health spokesperson says their hospitals have not gone above the amount of hospitalizations they saw in April. As of Thursday they have a little more than 50 COVID-19 hospitalizations. In April, they had 57.
However, they say if it reaches the point where they need more beds, they may postpone non-emergency surgeries.
Polis said that with 1 in 100 Coloradans being contagious with COVID-19, it's important to heed those recommendations. However, those are just recommendations, and Gov. Polis' office or the Department of Public Health and Environment haven't enacted any stricter guidelines statewide in response to the rise.