Nov 9, 2021 - COVID
Colorado sounds the COVID alarm as FEMA team arrives at hospital
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Colorado's COVID-19 infections continue to rise faster than any state in the nation, new data shows.

Threat level: At the same time, the number available hospital beds across the state is dwindling — hitting a low of 80 at the start of this week.

What's new: Colorado now says every resident 18 and older is eligible for a COVID-19 booster under federal guidelines because the virus is spreading so rapidly across the state.

  • The state on Tuesday reactivated the crisis standards of care that prioritize treatment of patients and address staffing liabilities.
  • A Federal Emergency Management Agency team arrived in Pueblo to assist hospital staff overrun with COVID cases — a first for Colorado in the pandemic.
  • A special advisory issued by the state in partnership with Denver metro public health agencies urged residents to wear masks in crowded indoor public spaces and get vaccinated.
  • The state's newly issued hospital projections were exceeded just three days after they were rolled out, the Denver Post reports.

The intrigue: Gov. Jared Polis is staying the course.

He has not issued any orders requiring masks or capacity limits in hard hit areas — even though the state imposed tougher restrictions when rates hit this level last December.

  • The governor defended his approach Tuesday, tweeting the difference now is that 62% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Between the lines: The state's leading public health experts are now saying herd immunity is not a path out of the pandemic, the Colorado Sun reports.

  • The reason: New research is showing that immunity wanes, even in those who contract the virus, so vaccines and prior infections won't keep protection levels strong enough to limit the spread.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found

Denverpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more