SAN LUIS VALLEY — This has not been an easy week. In the San Luis Valley, local hospital admissions for COVID-19 have exceeded any previous week during the pandemic, and ICU beds are full. When hospital systems are full, healthcare professionals must make difficult decisions about how to prioritize care. Given the current conditions, a layered approach to prevention of infectious illness is strongly recommended for everyone by local public health experts. Get your annual flu shot. In addition to vaccines and boosters, wear a mask in indoor public spaces, practice social distancing, avoid crowded gatherings, and wash your hands frequently. These actions are even more important if you have not been fully vaccinated. Four out of five people hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
Cases in Colorado keep climbing, prompting two new statewide actions. On Tuesday the Colorado Crisis Standards of Care Plan was activated for healthcare staffing. The current scarcity of available hospital beds, especially ICU beds, can cause delays in care for critical conditions, accidents, and all needing access to the health care system. However, do not delay seeking medical care if needed. “We want to be sure Coloradans know they can and should continue to access necessary health care. If you’re sick and need care, please go get it. Activating staffing crisis standards of care allows health care systems to maximize the care they can provide in their communities with the staff they have available,” said Dr. Eric France, CDPHE’s Chief Medical Officer.
On Wednesday Governor Polis expanded booster eligibility when he signed an executive order acknowledging that residents are at high risk of exposure to the virus right now given the extremely high transmission level in our state. Now every Coloradan who is 18 years of age and older and six months past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months past their Johnson & Johnson vaccine, is eligible for a COVID-19 booster.
Information on San Luis Valley COVID-19 statistics, testing, and vaccinations can be found at www.slvphp.com or by calling 719-480-8719. There are 306 active cases in the San Luis Valley today.