Hospitals in northern Colorado at capacity for their ICU beds

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 11:43:58-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- For the second week in a row, ICU bed capacity in Larimer County has been above 90%, and as of Tuesday, 103% of ICU beds are being used. Larmier County public health officials and UCHealth staff in northern Colorado voiced their concerns to the community.

"Seeing people with COVID-19, young people, old people struggling to breathe on ventilators is sobering to say the least. Those that don’t think this is real, you are very, very wrong. COVID-19 is very serious and is threatening our hospital systems again," said Larimer County Public Health Director, Tom Gonzales.

In northern Colorado, UCHealth is caring for 94 patients with COVID-19, 36 are in the intensive care unit. They say the majority of them are unvaccinated and between the ages of 30 to 50.

"I’ve talked to several of my patients, who I have taken care of here, and many of them express the same sentiment that they really didn’t think this could happen to them and they could get this sick," said critical care physician and chief quality officer in Northern CO for UCHealth, Dr. Diana Breyer.

In Larimer County, 72% of the county’seligible population has at least one dose of the vaccine. A number health officials say needs to improve.

"If we can get up to 80, 85% vaccinated come Halloween, that might be a different situation for our hospitals," said Gonzales.

For now, at Poudre Valley Hospital, patients are doubling in up rooms at the ICU and CSU’s veterinary hospital has even lent the hospital a ventilator.

"We’re all in this together around health care," said associate professor at CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Kelly Hall.

The biggest message from health officials to anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated is to do so immediately before the ongoing increase in hospitalizations gets worse.