DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado hospital workers continue to see more COVID-positive patients coming through their door than any other stage in the pandemic.
On Tuesday, state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy told FOX31 the distinction between those coming into the hospital due to COVID vs. patients coming in for other reasons with COVID is becoming more of a factor.
The term is known as incidental COVID when a patient comes in for different reasons, but happens to test positive. According to state data analysis across all hospitals, that gap is widening, and more incidental COVID cases are appearing in Colorado hospitals.
“Historically throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen typically about 80-90% of people in the hospital with COVID-19, their hospitalization is due to COVID-19,” Herlihy said. “But that number looks like it’s a little bit lower now. Approximately 65% right now.”
But those figures from a state-wide perspective look very different for the state’s largest hospital network: UCHealth.
In a tweet, UCHealth said, “1/3 of our 362 COVID positive patients were admitted due to COVID complication, while 2/3 tested positive when admitted for other reasons.”
Director of Infection Prevention at UCHealth, Dr. Michelle Barron, told FOX31 this figure is wildly different from her own statistical analysis of patients back in August, indicating more than 95% of COVID patients were in their hospital because of COVID with the delta variant.
Denver Health confirms its analysis found roughly 40% of COVID patients in January were hospitalized because of COVID, while a spokesperson for Health One said while its network has not yet done this analysis, off-hand they believe their numbers line up with state data.
State health leaders with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment gave a COVID update Wednesday.
You can watch the briefing on FOX31 NOW.