The hospitals will have to have a plan to increase their bed capacities by 50% — something Polis said many hospitals had already been working on — how they can transition medical and surgical beds into ICU beds; how to treat patients without COVID-19 who need ICU beds; submit plans for how to surge staffing; report the maximum number of non-ICU and ICU beds to the state on a rolling basis; and have a plan on how they will manage, reduce, delay or put a moratorium on elective surgeries, Polis said.
Polis said he had also ordered the state Emergency Operations Center back to Level 1 status – the highest response level – to coordinate the state’s coronavirus response with local and federal agencies…
The Colorado Hospital Association announced Friday that hospitals and health systems in the state had activated Tier 1 of the Combined Hospital Transfer Center to better help transfer patients between facilities amid the sharp spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations here…
Hospitals will first have to increase their internal capacity and open up unused spaces for more, and work to up staffing levels in the event of a continued surge in patients. The next step would be scaling back elective procedures, and Polis said that a statewide moratorium on them – like was in effect in March and April – was not off the table.
If the hospitalization surge continues after the initial steps to increase capacity and staffing, Polis said, the Hospital Transfer Center would see more work transferring patients where there is room.
And the final step – in lieu of a plateauing of cases and hospitalizations in Colorado – would be to utilize the three alternative care sites at St. Mary’s-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, St. Anthony’s in Westminster and the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Polis said.
He said those alternative care sites, which would serve patients who do not need ICU beds, would be able to be operational immediately with a few dozen beds but could increase their bed capacities to the thousands in a month’s time.” (A)
“The Trump administration’s outreach to governors on the coronavirus pandemic has dropped off in recent weeks, even as cases and hospitalizations are climbing nationwide.
The White House had been holding weekly conference calls with state leaders throughout the summer and into October, offering updates on the administration’s approach to the pandemic and gathering input from governors. But there has been no call in two weeks, and Vice President Pence has been absent from the discussions for multiple weeks.
The drop off in communication with state leaders raises questions about how seriously the Trump administration will take the pandemic in its final two months before leaving office as the United States sees sharp increases in infections and public health experts warn of a dangerous few months ahead.
The White House coronavirus task force issues weekly status reports indicating how individual states are faring in the fight against the pandemic, and state officials are in regular contact with public health agencies.
But the task force, led by Pence, has not held a call with governors since the Friday before Election Day. That call was led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, according to multiple people on the call, and was focused mostly on vaccine development…
Trump has not met with the task force in months and has barely commented on the pandemic beyond tweets criticizing Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the company announced positive developments with its vaccine candidate just after Election Day.
Both Trump and Pence received an update on Friday on Operation Warp Speed and delivered remarks in the Rose Garden to tout the government effort to invest in multiple vaccine candidates and organize distribution.
The Trump administration is tasked with overseeing the pandemic response and public health agencies until President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. Lawmakers and experts have raised concerns that Trump, who last met with the task force months ago, will become even more disengaged from the health crisis at a time when the country faces the most risk of the virus spiraling out of control.” (B)
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(A)Polis to issue executive order outlining steps for COVID-19 hospital surge capacity, by Blair Miller, https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/coronavirus/polis-to-issue-executive-order-outlining-steps-for-covid-19-hospital-surge-capacity
(B) Trump COVID-19 outreach to governors drops off, BY BRETT SAMUELS, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/525891-trump-covid-19-outreach-to-governors-drops-off