Colorado Hospital Association statement on COVID-19 hospitalizations data

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – April 7, 2020 – “Colorado Hospital Association and its member hospitals and health systems applaud Governor Polis for extending the state’s ‘stay at home’ order,” said Darlene Tad-y, MD, CHA vice president of clinical affairs.

“The state shared its modeling data yesterday, which shows that Colorado is making progress in flattening the curve through extensive social distancing efforts, but that cases continue to increase. That is why it is crucial that Coloradans continue to practice social distancing and stay at home, to protect vulnerable neighbors and ensure that the capacity of our health care system can manage this pandemic.

“However, other models, such as the COVID-19 Projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, that have been distributed show that cases in Colorado may have already peaked. Unfortunately, we believe those studies may mislead Coloradans into thinking this is behind us, when in reality, it isn’t. That data doesn’t align with what is actually happening in Colorado hospitals currently – which we are tracking very closely.

“As of this morning, there were 1,228 Coloradans hospitalized with COVID-19 or with COVID-19 symptoms. That number has grown steadily since mid-March, when hospitals began reporting this data to the state. Many of these patients require a supportive hospital stay, which includes oxygen to breathe, fluids, monitoring and medication administration. Of those patients, a smaller group – about 20 percent of those hospitalized – require critical care during their stay. These patients are critically ill, including multi-system organ failure, and they often require the support of a ventilator to breathe. On average, COVID-19 patients that need a ventilator are on the ventilator for five days, with some patients requiring support for as many as 10-14 days. And on aggregate, 40-50 percent of hospitalized patients will require ventilator support at some point during their stay.

“The IHME study suggests that 110 ventilators will be adequate to support Coloradans who become sick with COVID-19. We know that there are nearly four times that number of patients on ventilators in Colorado hospitals today. Not only does this undercut the volume of COVID-19 and COVID-19-suspect patients in our hospitals, but it also entirely misses the other ICU patients who may need to be on a ventilator as well.

“We are all looking forward to the day when we can return to a more normal way of life, but as Governor Polis noted yesterday, we are not there just yet. On behalf of Colorado’s hospitals and our thousands of providers who are doing the heroic work of trying to save as many Coloradans’ lives as possible during this pandemic – we ask that the public continue their heroic role by staying home and social distancing.”

About Colorado Hospital Association

Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado.

Colorado Hospital Association statement on COVID-19 hospitalizations data