Larimer County ICUs over capacity, health officials pleading for action


In this Aug. 31, 2021 file photo, medical professionals surround a 39-year-old unvaccinated COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Intensive care unit capacity is at 105%, and 40% of those patients are COVID-19 cases, health officials reported.

Since Sept. 1, 26 residents have died from COVID-19 and the majority were unvaccinated, officials said. Eighty-six people are currently hospitalized in the county with COVID-19, compared to only 10 back in July.

Officials said 10-14 patients have been admitted with COVID-19 in the past four days and the increase has them concerned. Understaffed hospitals with the spike in COVID-19 cases plus additional flu and respiratory syncytial virus cases, could put a critical strain on county health care facilities.

“Once again I am pleading with our residents to take the situation with our hospital capacity seriously. Our heroic healthcare providers have not had any relief from the pandemic for many weeks now,” Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director said. “We are facing the potential for hospitals to become even more overwhelmed during the fall and winter. Now is the time to get your preventative shots to help minimize the impacts of these viruses.”

What health officials are asking residents to do

In order to prevent ICUs and health care facilities from continuing to overflow, Gonzales and other health officials provided guidelines for people in Larimer County to follow:

  • Get your COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose, if eligible.
  • Get your flu shot, available to those 6 months of age and older.
  • Wear a mask indoors. COVID-19, RSV, and the flu are spread by respiratory droplets and a mask prevents the spread of all of these viruses.
  • Postpone large indoor gatherings if customers and guests are not vaccinated against COVID-19. 
  • Stay home and isolated from others if you have a fever, cough, or other respiratory symptoms. Keep children home from school and childcare if they are ill.
  • If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, wear a mask and get tested. 
  • Do not work or attend school if you know you are positive with COVID-19, until you have completed the minimum 10 days of isolation.  

Cases have continued to increase

Just last week, FOX31’s Shaul Turner took a look into the increasing number of COVID cases. The ICU occupancy surpassed its limit, with one hospital reporting it is at 108% capacity on Sept. 29.

Health officials said 47% of patients in critical care have COVID-19, with the majority of patients from Larimer and Weld counties.

The health care facilities were also seeing some patients traveling in from Wyoming.

“In Laramie, we don’t have a hospital like Poudre Valley,” Dan Turnquist said.

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