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COVID In Colorado: Hospitalizations Continue To Rise, Unvaccinated Patients Partly Driving The Increase

DENVER (CBS4) - As hospitalizations climb in Colorado, hospitals continue to struggle with stress on their systems. According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Tuesday, more than 1,400 patients are currently hospitalized for confirmed COVID-19.

And with more boosters getting into arms, it has many asking, why? CBS4's Mekialaya White asked two local experts to weigh in.

"I don't know that anyone has one answer as to why things are getting worse right now," said National Jewish Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carrie Horn. "Right now in Colorado, what we're seeing is that hospitals are full with COVID and there's a lot of other chronic health conditions that are acting up. And I don't know that I would say the boosters aren't working. The biggest population we're seeing in the hospitals is the unvaccinated group."

UCHealth Senior Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control Dr. Michelle Barron agreed the reason for the increase in hospitalizations is multi-faceted, and the unvaccinated are contributing to the increase.

"If you look at the different counties in Colorado, the increases are happening where vaccination rates are low."

Barron says our hospitalizations have been climbing steadily, which is what separates Colorado from other parts of the United States.

"The big difference is the trajectory that they saw with states in the South, like Texas, Florida and Mississippi, when they went up in late summer, early fall, they went up really fast. And a lot of that had to do with low vaccination rates, so they had a lot of vulnerable hosts. In Colorado, we have a decent vaccination rate, but still not enough. With delta being in play, it's going to spread in communities and that's where we're seeing this positivity and hospitalizations."

Doctors say we need to see the curve going down.

"If you have not had your vaccine yet, whether it's the first or second dose, please go get that now. And if you're in a high-risk category and due for a booster, go get that as well," advised Horn.

"Even with the absence of a mandate, people can be smart and wear masks and keep distance, and it makes good sense, and it'll keep you and the individuals in your households healthy," added Barron.

RELATED: Colorado ICU Nurse: Many COVID Patients Still Don't Believe Virus Is Real, Blame Hospital For Illness: 'They're Calling You A Murderer'

You can find and schedule an appointment on the CDPHE's website.

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