- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2020

DENVER (AP) - As Colorado experiences its highest hospitalization rate of COVID-19 patients, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order authorizing the state health department to order hospitals and emergency departments to transfer and cease admitting new patients in order to deal with the influx of coronavirus cases.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as of Sunday the state had over 1,500 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Friday, Polis said full hospital capacity was reached in Mesa County on the state’s western slope and nearing the same fate in Weld County in northeast Colorado with only three intensive care beds available.

The order allows for those hospitals which have reached capacity to transfer patients to another facility without obtaining their consent. It also states that health care providers who comply with the order and transfer patients are “immune from civil or criminal liability for any action taken.”

“The transfer of patients from hospitals that have reached capacity to other specified care facilities will combat the current public health emergency due to COVID-19 and promote public health,” the order states.

Back in March, Polis issued an executive order to temporarily stop voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures in order to preserve personal protective equipment and ventilators as Colorado experienced its first big wave of coronavirus cases.



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