Colorado Racing to Add Hospital Beds Before Surge of COVID-19 Cases

Apr 2, 2020

Colorado’s coronavirus response team is racing to add thousands of additional hospital beds to handle a projected surge of new cases in the coming weeks. KUNC’s Scott Franz has more.

Service members set up a field hospital in the parking lot of the Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Beaumont in Beaumont, Texas, Sept., 4, 2017, during Harvey relief efforts.
Credit US Dept of Defense / Airman 1st Class Nicholas Dutton

Incident commander Scott Bookman says area hospitals could be overwhelmed by a surge of new COVID 19 cases sometime between April and July. To meet the need, Bookman says Colorado is working to increase its critical care capacity to 5,000 beds by April 18.

BOOKMAN: "We also know based on the clinical evidence, that these patients are going to require intensive care. They are going to be severely ill and they will be ventilator-dependent from anywhere from an average of 11 to 20 days."

He says arenas, warehouses, and stadiums could soon house healthier patients who are recovering from the virus. The state is also looking to free up ten thousand beds at hotels and dorms to isolate and quarantine other patients who aren’t showing symptoms.