DENVER (KDVR) — State health officials are optimistic about an overall plateau in COVID-19 case numbers across Colorado, but regional differences in hospitalization rates continue to cause concern.
State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said in a press conference Tuesday Colorado’s overall current intensive care unit bed utilization is around 85%, compared to 94% in Northeast Colorado, including Weld and Larimer counties.
Herlihy also pointed out neighboring Wyoming has one of the highest COVID-19 incidence rates in the country right now.
“We know that Wyoming residents can potentially be hospitalized in Northern Colorado. That’s a common practice. That could be part of what we’re seeing right now is the admission of Wyoming residents in some of those northern Colorado hospitals,” Herlihy said.
Data from hospitals in that region indicate it’s primarily locals contributing to the rising hospitalization rates.
UCHealth said over the past week, its hospitals in northern Colorado averaged 76 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and only three were from Wyoming.
Banner Health said its hospitals are extremely busy with very sick COVID and non-COVID patients. On Tuesday, they had about 220 patients hospitalized across three northern Colorado hospitals. Of those, fewer than five patients were from out of state.