With Colorado registering the fifth-highest infection rate for COVID-19 in the nation, state hospitals and health systems activated the Combined Hospital Transfer Center’s Tier 3 on Nov. 3, the highest tier available.
Under the designation, COVID and non-COVID patients can be transferred from a hospital that doesn’t have enough capacity or needs to move patients for a different level of care. Under a governor’s executive order, the transfer center can direct transfers without a patient’s consent.
“This is an extraordinary step taken by the state’s hospitals and health systems,” said Darlene Tad-y, Colorado Hospital Association vice president of clinical affairs. She stressed that Tier 3 “should send a clear message to Coloradans: Our health care system is in jeopardy of being overwhelmed.”
The activation helps hospitals manage patient transfers on a statewide level as concerns about hospital capacity continue to escalate, the CHA said in a news release. The CHTC was reactivated at Tier 1 in August when COVID hospitalizations started rising, a trend that’s ongoing and puts a “monumental strain” on the state’s health care system.
Meantime, FEMA announced on Nov. 2 it had paid $8.3 million for funeral expenses for COVID victims in Colorado, a program opposed by Rep. Lauren Boebert.
No COVID guidelines are in effect in El Paso County where county commissioners oppose mask and vaccine mandates