DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provided an update on Wednesday morning as the transmission of respiratory viruses, like RSV, COVID-19, and flu increase.

CDPHE said increased RSV infections are putting a strain on the state’s pediatric health care system. (Watch the full news conference on FOX31 NOW.)

The Colorado Hospital Association said the hospitals and health systems activated Tier 1 of the Combined Hospital Transfer Center this week, which was created to help hospitals with capacity management.

“We are again at a point where we need Coloradans to do their part to help our health care system. Please – wash your hands, stay home when you’re sick, get care when you need it at the right time and right place, and get vaccinated for flu and boosted for COVID.”

CDPHE chart from 11/9/22 on RSV hospitalizations

How to prevent respiratory viruses

CDPHE said you can do the following to prevent respiratory viruses:

  • Getting vaccinated. Both flu and COVID-19 have effective, safe vaccines. Anyone 6 months and older can get vaccinated for flu and COVID-19. It is safe to get the vaccines together.  
  • Seeing or calling a health care provider or doctor before going to a busy emergency department when you or your child has respiratory symptoms. Your provider can help you determine the best ways to manage symptoms and when it is important to be seen in the clinic, urgent care, or emergency department.
  • Staying home when sick, including not visiting or interacting with people who may be at higher risk, including older adults, young children, and infants. This is key to preventing the spread of viruses and causing outbreaks which put additional strain on the hospital system. 
  • Washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or with hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol. 
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or upper arm sleeve when you cough or sneeze, throw away the tissue after you use it, and clean hands as instructed above.
  • Cleaning potentially contaminated surfaces, like doorknobs, tables, handrails, etc. 
  • Avoiding sharing cups, eating utensils, and touching your face with unwashed hands. 

CDPHE said COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases are also increasing in Colorado.

CDPHE chart from 11/9/22 on COVID-19 hospitalizations

CDPHE said the best way to prevent respiratory illnesses is by getting vaccinated.