GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – Nov. 10, 2020 – Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are reaching a new all-time high each day in Colorado’s hospitals and health systems, as Colorado’s third wave increases at a shockingly rapid rate. While hospitals still have capacity to care for patients, now is the time that the state must change its current trajectory in order to protect the health care system and its workers. Colorado’s providers have learned a lot about COVID-19 over the past nine months and can provide care for COVID-19 patients effectively and efficiently. Ultimately, saving Coloradans’ lives depends on having the bed space and staff to care for all patients who present for care – those with COVID-19 and those with other health care needs.
Colorado hospital and health system clinical leaders ask Coloradans to continue doing their part – and even a little more now – to control the spread of this dangerous virus. Wear you mask, wash your hands, watch your distance and wait till it’s safer to see other people.
Jean Kutner, MD, Chief Medical Officer, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital; Professor, CU School of Medicine: “The positive news is that there is now better evidence about how to treat COVID-19 and more medications available than this past spring. We are thus seeing better outcomes and lower mortality rates. But it is still a very serious disease, and we need everyone to act now to prevent hospitals across the state from being overwhelmed with too many patients. We know people have pandemic fatigue and they want to hang out with neighbors and friends, but these social gatherings are spreading the virus. Now is the time to stop these exposures and avoid more hospitalizations and more deaths.”
Ryan Thornton, Chief Nursing Executive, HealthONE: “Our HealthONE hospitals need your partnership to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID19. Our commitment to providing exceptional patient care is unwavering, but we need every Coloradoan to do their part. Now is the time.”
J.P. Valin, MD, FACP, Executive Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer, SCL Health: “Our health care workers and first responders are burning the candle at both ends to keep us all safe. It is up to all of us to do our part – wear a mask, physically distance, and limit gatherings so we can get this under control. Do it for your loved ones, especially your parents, grandparents and those who are at highest risk. Do it to keep our economy open and our businesses open. Everyone has a part to play.”
Jackie Attlesey-Pries, RN, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Boulder Community Health: “The evidence is clear that people wearing face masks in public, maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from others, and practicing hand hygiene reduces the spread of COVID-19. Colorado citizens’ health and our state’s economic vitality depend on us working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Rebecca Moore, MD, Internal Medicine, Melissa Memorial Hospital: “One thing I’ve noticed about our community is that when someone here suffers misfortune, Coloradans rise up always, ‘to take care of their own.’ Did you know that by wearing a mask, we PREVENT great misfortune because it prevents severe illness in ourselves and others. Our masks should say, ‘I CARE ABOUT YOU AND DON’T WANT YOU TO GET SICK!’ It makes a loving statement to everyone in the community. Please wear your mask and keep your hands clean.”
Carmelo Hernandez, MD, Chief Medical Officer, San Luis Valley Health: “Cases are on the rise in the San Luis Valley, and it appears we are experiencing another COVID-19 surge. We all know what we need to do to keep the virus in check. We have done this before, and we can do this again. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Avoid large gatherings, especially indoors, stay 6 feet from others. Let’s keep our community as safe as possible as we enter the influenza season and colder months.”
Richard Zane, MD, Chief Innovation Officer, UCHealth; Chair and Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine “The virus is far more dangerous now than in the summer because it is so widespread. We’ve all gotten too relaxed in social settings, and we’re seeing people catching COVID-19 in these multi-family gatherings. As the prevalence of infections in the community goes up, and people spend more time with one another, exposures go up. We need people to act now to reverse this trend.”
Lori Wightman, MSN, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, SCL Health: “We need your help! We know that everyone is growing weary of wearing masks and being apart from family and friends. However, it is more important than ever that we all do our part and stay the course to beat this virus. Please continue to do your part by wearing your mask, social distancing, and being diligent about handwashing. As the holidays approach, please consider the health and safety of your family and friends – consider virtual gatherings or postponing gatherings until a time when it is safer to get together. Be creative in how you connect with others this holiday!”
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.
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