Area hospitals not full, but fear another surge

Plus, Tri-County Health extends Adams County curfew mandate

Liam Adams
ladams@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/14/20

Hospitals in the wider Adams County region are running out of space, with officials expecting a post-Thanksgiving surge. About 80 percent of the county’s ICU capacity is full, according to most …

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Area hospitals not full, but fear another surge

Plus, Tri-County Health extends Adams County curfew mandate

Posted

Hospitals in the wider Adams County region are running out of space, with officials expecting a post-Thanksgiving surge.

About 80 percent of the county’s ICU capacity is full, according to most recent Tri-County Health Department data. The increased concerns about hospitalizations led Tri-County Health to extend Adams County’s curfew mandate until Jan. 7.

The mandate prohibits county residents from being in public spaces between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. “With what are still the highest case rates in the Metro area, the threat of further hospitalizations and deaths is very real in Adams County,” said Dr. John Douglas, Tri-County’s executive director, in a press release. Gov. Jared Polis said at a city of Westminster town hall Dec. 3 that one in 39 Adams County residents have COVID-19, a higher rate than when Tri-County first issued the curfew.

Westminster and Thornton city officials painted a discouraging picture of hospitalizations in the area at recent city council study sessions.

At a Dec. 7 study session, Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison updated his colleagues on the four hospitals surrounding the city,. They are Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, North Suburban Medical Centerin Thornton and St. Anthony’s North in Westminster. As of Thursday, Dec. 3, hospital staff were monitoring the ICU every hour to determine if there was space for new patients. “It’s doing what we feared might happen. We are filling up,” Atchison said.

Thornton City Council received more up-to-date figures about North Suburban and St. Anthony’s North at a Dec. 8 planning session. As of Dec. 8, 11 of North Suburban’s 28 ICU beds were available and four of St. Anthony North’s 26 ICU beds were available, reported Ryan Doyle, Thornton’s emergency manager.

Officials at both meetings were fearful about a pending surge in hospitalizations due to people gathering for Thanksgiving. The state is prepared to activate a surge plan that would allow hospitals to transfer patients to overflow facilities.

The city of Westminster launched a rapid testing site for public safety and critical utility staff. The goal is to detect more cases among city staff before those individuals would infect other staff or residents. The city started the program under emergency powers, but council will ratify the decision at a Dec. 21 meeting.

Similarly, the city of Brighton extended its rapid testing site for people who live and/or work in the city through Dec. 19.

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