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Southern Colorado Hospitals Reach ICU Bed Capacity As COVID Hospitalizations Continue To Rise

DENVER (CBS4) - Infectious disease experts say a surge in COVID-19 cases is possible in the weeks following Thanksgiving. Hospitals are now taking steps to increase ICU bed capacity.

There are now 1,682 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Colorado hospitals. On Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 4,270 new cases of the virus.

A regional map of ICU bed availability from CDPHE shows hospitals have reached capacity in the San Luis Valley along with the southwest and southeast corners of the state.

cdphe icu beds
(credit: CDPHE)

RELATED: Colorado Hospitals Brace For Surge In COVID-19 Cases Following Thanksgiving Festivities

Earlier this month, the Colorado Hospital Association activated Tier 1 of the Combined Hospital Transfer Center to manage the increase in hospitalizations. The system allows hospitals to transfer patients if they run out of room or require a different level of care.

"One of the best practices we learned from other states that have already responded to significant outbreaks was to stand up a statewide transfer center," said Darlene Tad-y, MD, CHA vice president of clinical affairs. "This will allow us to respond rapidly to capacity issues that a city or region of Colorado may face and to ensure that we are fully utilizing the capacity of our state's entire hospital system."

Nearly half of the state's adult critical care ventilators are currently in use. More than 1 in 3 hospitals and facilities in the state anticipate a staff shortage in the next week.

uchealth coronavirus university of colorado hospital doctor nurse mask ppe COVID
(credit: UCHealth)

Colorado COVID-19 Data, as of 4 p.m. Friday:


  • 45,689 tests conducted on Nov. 26 with 11.09% positivity rate (7-day moving average)
  • 11.62% daily positivity rate on Nov. 26

Hospital Data:

  • 1,682 Patients currently hospitalized, 92% of facilities reporting (+17)
  • 115 Patients under investigation for probable cases, not lab confirmed (+3)
  • 175 Patients discharged/transferred in past 24 hours (+21)
  • 36% Facilities anticipating staff shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 1% Facilities anticipating PPE shortages within next week (+0%)
  • 12% Facilities anticipating ICU bed shortages within next week (-1%)
  • 49% Critical care ventilators in use (+1%)
  • 79% of ICU Beds in use (361 available)

Case Summary:

  • 220,953 cases (+4,270)
  • 13,287 hospitalized (+39)
  • 1,707,374 tested (+17,717)
  • 3,091,838 test encounters (+45,689)
  • 2,977 deaths among cases (+20)
  • 2,521 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
  • 2,131 outbreaks (+14)

CDPHE updates COVID-19 data daily at

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