Colorado reports spikes in coronavirus cases not seen since April
‘If this continues, our hospital capacity will be in jeopardy,’ Gov. Jared Polis said
Colorado saw 967 new cases of coronavirus Monday, the highest number of new cases reported in a day since mid-April, according to the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment.
“We need to get this under control now,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a press conference Tuesday. “If this continues, our hospital capacity will be in jeopardy.”
Health experts reported new records set for three and seven day averages this week – meaning the rise in cases was not a fluke.
The percentage of positive tests reached 5.4 percent, breaching the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of maintaining five percent or less, in order to prevent large increases in transmission rates.
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Though the WHO originally advised that states or counties maintain a five percent positivity rate or less, for two weeks straight before relaxing coronavirus regulations, Polis said Tuesday that he would not be reinforcing restrictions at this time, but said people need to be responsible.
“Frankly, its just time to change, it’s time for all of us to change,” Polis said. “Just ask yourself ‘what can I do to prevent the spread of coronavirus?’ It’s very simple.”
Polis told Coloradans they need to remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing measures, but said he would not be enforcing any additional statewide mandates at this time – adding that municipalities have the ability to tighten restrictions if they want to.
“If we are successful in controlling this in the next few weeks, it’ll set us up, not only our small business and restaurants for success, it’ll set up the state for further success in being able to go into a holiday season in a safe way, which is very important,” Polis said.
But the governor also addressed his concerns over hospital capacity's, and thier ability to keep up with a new surge in cases as nearly 80 percent of “acute-care beds” are currently occupied, along with 78 percent of “intensive care beds,” reported the Denver Post.
Polis warned that there were 290 hospitalizations as of Tuesday, the highest figure seen since May.
“This is a major risk for our health and our economy if it continues this way,” Polis said Tuesday.
States across the U.S. have reported increases in the number of coronavirus cases, and the country as a whole has reported new daily highs not seen since August.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that 16 states have seen new records in the last week – meaning coronavirus cases in those states are now higher then they were at the height of the pandemic in the U.S.
Across the U.S., more than 7.8 million have been infected by COVID-19 and at least 215,861 have died.
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States experiencing colder temperatures are the ones seeing spikes in cases, including the Dakotas, Montana and Wisconsin.
Health experts believe the rest of the country should also expect to see increases in cases, as the second wave hits in the fall or early winter.