Colorado’s governor warns of rationed care as the state hits the 80 percent vaccination threshold

Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisBiden Administration OKs Colorado Expansion of Transgender Health Coverage Judge Rejects Police Case Challenging Denver Coronavirus Vaccine Mandate. Bipartisan pressure on for vocational education focuses on funding, curricula MORE (D-Colo.) Warned Monday that rising COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated people are bringing Colorado closer to rationing out of hospital care, even though the state has reached a 80 percent partial vaccination rate.

“It’s the 20% who have not been vaccinated that fill up our hospital wards,” Polis said at a news briefing, according to Bloomberg. “We would not have any of these hospital capacity issues, or orders would be operational if everyone was vaccinated.”

The governor said Colorado will soon have to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help overrun hospitals.

Polis lamented that these problems are particularly tragic because they are “essentially completely preventable.”

On Sunday, Polis signed two executive orders in an attempt to help his state’s hospitals. One order allows hospitals’ emergency departments to reject patients and direct them to other facilities, while the other specifies when “Crisis Standards of Care” can be activated to ration care. Both orders are set to expire in a month, though they may be reactivated, Colorado Public Radio (CPR) reported.

As Bloomberg noted, Colorado’s vaccination rates are one of the highest in the country. However, its hospital bed occupancy rate has averaged around 90 percent in the last few weeks.

According to CPR, 80 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

On Sunday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also issued a new health order to alleviate hospital capacity problems. The order introduced a break in cosmetic procedures that can be postponed for six months without causing “damage to life, limb or function.”


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