Colorado health officials said on Wednesday they expect hospital admissions for the new coronavirus to surpass the highs seen in April in the next two or three days.
If the transmission of COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, continues at current levels, Colorado hospitals will exceed capacity in their intensive care units by the end of December – or earlier if people gather on vacation, said Dr. Jon Samet, principal of the Colorado School of Public Health.
Both the state’s rate of positive test results and the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 have skyrocketed in recent weeks. This means that the spread of the disease is on the rise and that the rise of new cases is not simply due to more testing.
The percentage of test results that give a positive result over the past seven days is 8.92%. The World Health Organization recommends that the positive rate should be below 5%.
Hospital admissions across the state with COVID-19 neared Colorado’s peak of 888 patients in April, according to the state health department. As of Tuesday, 814 people had been hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19, an increase of 59 patients from the day before and the highest number since April 25.
More than 13,700 new COVID-19 cases were reported last week, the second consecutive week that more than 10,000 new cases were confirmed in the state. Colorado recorded another 2,229 cases on Monday, according to the health department.
Test demand is also increasing, with community checkpoints in the metro area experiencing long lines and closing early when they reach capacity. On Wednesday, public health officials announced the Stride Community COVID-19 test site at JeffCo Stadium was at full capacity before 9am – less than an hour after the site opened.