COVID-19 case rates in Colorado are the worst in the country – .

COVID-19 case rates in Colorado are the worst in the country – .

Date: New York time; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj / Axios

Colorado has the fewest number of hospital beds available today compared to any other time of the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials said Wednesday.

Yes, but: It is still unclear what the administration of Governor Jared Polis will do to deal with the worsening situation.

Threat level: The nationwide coronavirus case rate is declining, but Colorado leads the United States in increasing cases per capita over the past two weeks.

  • State public health officials have warned that rising positivity rates indicate more hospitalizations are coming.

And the situation is straining the state health system.

  • An estimated 1,191 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Colorado, which is a record 1,847 when bed capacity was greater.
  • The highest hospitalization rates are in El Paso, Jefferson and Arapahoe counties, according to state data.

What they say : “We continue to move in the wrong direction,” Scott Bookman, the COVID-19 head of state, said at a briefing.

Between the lines: State public health officials have said they don’t know why Colorado is the hotspot on the COVID map.

  • Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, speculated that it could be related to the weather, indicating that the western and northern states have higher rates.

What is happening: For months now, as the fifth wave steadily increased, officials have hinted at new statewide mandates to protect hospital capacity. But so far, little is known.

  • The executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health said in August that her agency was considering new statewide policies.
  • The governor said last week he was considering using the National Guard to resolve the issue, but did not provide details.
  • Eric France, the chief medical officer, raised the possibility of mask requirements and additional actions at state and local level.

What’s new: Pressed Wednesday by Axios Denver, state officials said geographic disparities in rates mean local requirements – not a statewide order – are the best approach.

  • Bookman said the state was discussing the matter with local authorities, but would not share details.

Enlarge: Likewise, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock played coy when asked about the possibility of new rules, such as indoor mask warrants or the requirement for proof of vaccination in public places. .

  • “As always, the answer remains the same: Data will guide us, and everything stays on the table,” Hancock said. “It would be too early to take anything off the table.


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