Denver Hospitals Full With One-In-Four City Residents Infected With Covid
(Bloomberg) -- Denver hospitals are full as one-in-four people who are tested receive positive results amid the worst Covid-19 surge since the pandemic began, said Mayor Michael Hancock, who is recovering from a bout of the virus despite being vaccinated.
Health officials cite the omicron variant for the latest outbreak and are imploring unvaccinated residents to get jabbed to stem the citywide surge and a roughly 25% positivity rate.
Hospitals are facing “the scariest part of the pandemic,” Kathy Howell, chief nursing officer at University of Colorado Hospital, said at a Tuesday news briefing with the mayor and other officials.
Cases are “far exceeding” last year’s surge, said Bob McDonald, executive director of the city’s department of public health and environment. Capacity is “tapped out” at hospitals, McDonald said, with most hospitalized patients unvaccinated.
Some patients are being transfered to hospitals outside Denver, said Connie Price, chief medical officer at Denver Health, the municipal general hospital.
Howell said the University of Colorado’s acute care units are full and intensive care unit capacity for more serious infections, as well as other illnesses and injuries, is 98%.
Price noted patients with omicron have been less likely to require ICU care than in other surges in Denver.
The mayor said he recently tested positive for the virus even though he was vaccinated and received a booster and that he was able to recover at home.
Denver has a mask mandate for public spaces in force until Feb. 3.
There are no plans to close schools, McDonald said. “We are doing everything we can not to disrupt the schools,” he said.
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