COVID-19 cases rise as hospitalizations remain low in Colorado

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DENVER (KDVR) — Despite the trend of surging COVID-19 cases in specific Colorado counties, two of Colorado’s busiest hospitals are seeing single digit cases in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as summer starts.

On Saturday, Gov. Polis extended the state of disaster emergency for an extra month, saying “the three-day moving average for cases is now going up in our state.”

“We don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future, and I think that’s creating a little stress in people,” said Director of Critical Care at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Dr. Marc Moss.

Moss says during the peak, their hospital was taking care of more than 140 COVID-19 patients. That number is now less than 10.

Over the past week, health departments have sounded the alarm in Boulder County, Eagle County and the San Luis Valley, as they started to see a surge in cases. 

“Not always wearing masks, not always maintaining the physical distancing, it does not surprise me that we’re seeing an increased number of cases,” Moss said. “People are following the numbers of how many positive tests there are, and I think maybe a better number to follow is how many people have been hospitalized, because that’s really what matters.”

Moss says there is anxiety about a potential second wave in the healthcare profession, but acknowledges they are more confident with their knowledge of the virus. One of his main concerns is morale among nurses and doctors on the front line.

“Some people feel we might be in the eye of the hurricane, we went through a thing, now it’s calm, but who knows if we have to go through the other side of the hurricane,” Moss said. ”We’re still doing our jobs but I think it’s not getting as much recognition and to gear up again and to go through the battle again is going to be I think even more difficult, so I worry about the psychological distress on our health care professionals.”

A spokesperson for Denver Health tells the Problem Solvers they have less than half a dozen COVID-19 patients in the ICU right now. They are currently at their lowest census for hospital admissions, despite their own testing being up.

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