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.
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