News Bites – November 5, 2020
****A major point of concern for hospitals and health officials came late last week when ICU capacity in Larimer County had reached 91% percent. That number has since been reduced dramatically and as of Wednesday, the Larimer County COVID-19 dashboard indicated that ICU use was at 66% capacity. The majority of these hospitalizations were not COVID-19 related but did dramatically reduce the hospital’s capacity to care for intensive care patients.
The location will open Nov. 9 and will be operating in the West Pavilion. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Patients should enter The Ranch via the north entrance off of Fairgrounds Avenue (Larimer County Road 5) and follow signs to the testing area.
The indoor location was chosen for wintertime testing operations because patients will be able to drive through the West Pavilion, where they and staff will be better protected from below-freezing temperatures, snow and ice in the upcoming months. It also will serve as a convenient regional location for UCHealth to serve patients from both Larimer and Weld County.
With the opening of this new site, UCHealth will close the drive-thru center that has been operating at the Medical Center of the Rockies. It will close at 2 p.m. Nov. 8.
The criteria for UCHealth testing has recently been updated. At this time, UCHealth’s COVID-19 tests are only available for people with a provider’s order (including a required test for a scheduled surgery) or who are experiencing symptoms including fever, shortness of breath or new cough.
All patients who want a nasal swab test at a UCHealth testing site must have either an order for testing or an appointment before they arrive at the testing site. Those who do not have an appointment or order will have to return to the site after they are able to obtain one. The only exceptions will be for health care workers, who can get tested at all of UCHealth’s drive-thru centers, and U.S. Forest Service firefighters, who can be tested at the new center at The Ranch.
To schedule an appointment, those with symptoms should go to uchealth.org.
Hours at the new center are subject to change. The latest hours are available on the website. Patients also should plan ahead as wait times could vary.
The County also provides free testing Tuesday and Thursdays at Colorado State University in Fort Collins for more information visit larimer.org/coronvrius.
****Berthoud has 155 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 32 from the past week. Larimer County as of Nov. 4, has had 4,616 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases which represent 1.28% of the population, this is an increase of 744 cases with an additional 503 suspected cases. 59 deaths are attributed to the virus, an increase of two from last week and representing 1.47% of reported cases. Of those individuals who have been tested for the virus in the county, 3.7% have returned positive.
Weld County has had 7,069 confirmed cases which is an increase of 983 from last week. The county has seen 103 deaths associated with the virus, an increase of one from last week. There are currently 154 individuals hospitalized in the county who have tested positive for the virus.
****State health officials continue to express their concern for the rising COVID-19 case numbers across the state and warn that hospital capacity is projected to be exceeded in many communities by mid-December.
Dr. Jon Samet, Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health during a virtual panel discussion Wednesday stated that if the statewide transmission control percent drops a further 20% that, “…we would exceed ICU capacity by Dec. 13.” Dr. Samet also said that with the holidays fast approaching he anticipated that transmission control would continue to decrease, “Holiday travel will be more risky as a result… contact among people not in the same households should be minimized,” he said.
As of Wednesday morning, Colorado had a total of 114,709 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,311 deaths attributed to the virus. The state positivity rate which the World Health Organization has said should stay below 5% to contain community spread has jumped to 10.86%, the highest is has been since May 25. The highest positivity in Colorado was April 19 when a 22% rate was reported.
Larimer County continues to hover in the “Saver At Home” level one category on the state’s dashboard but may lose this status if local cases continue to rise.
According to data provided by the panel Colorado has seen an increase in positive cases particularly among those 65 and over. This has also meant a sharp rise in reported hospitalizations for those in that demographic.
Dr. Rachel Hurlihy encouraged Coloradans to get their flu shot this year to avoid flu-related hospitalizations that could reduce hospital capacity further.
The panel suggested community members continue to do the following:
Avoid in-person gatherings.
Stay home when sick.
Wear a mask.
Wash your hands frequently.
Sign up for exposure notifications. Visit covid19.colorado.gov/Exposure-notifications for more information.
Anyone who may have been exposed to the virus, but does not have symptoms should get tested 7 days after suspected exposure.
If you are exposed, quarantine for a full 14 days regardless of test results.
People who have symptoms should get tested right away.
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