Take precautions against the novel coronavirus as number of people testing positive rises in Colorado

July 15th, 2020

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and being hospitalized for the disease has steadily increased for two weeks in Colorado, and we’re reminded to take every precaution to help slow the spread of the virus.

Colorado had 2,743 new cases of coronavirus in the second week of July, a number not seen since May.

Dr. David Steinbruner talks about the rise in COVID-19 cases in Colorado.
Dr. David Steinbruner

“I’m concerned that a rising rate of infections among teens and young adults will translate into more hospitalizations of older and more vulnerable people in our community,’’ said Dr. David Steinbruner, associate chief medical officer at UCHealth Memorial Hospital and an emergency room physician.

“I’m concerned the virus certainly is not seasonal, with a die-down in the summer, as we had all hoped,’’ Steinbruner said.

UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs is caring for almost 30 patients who are either hospitalized with COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. In the last seven days, the hospital has seen a trend of rising hospitalizations. In early June, fewer than a half-dozen people were hospitalized at UCHealth hospitals in southern Colorado. UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus is also caring for about 30 patients who have tested positive or are awaiting test results.

At UCHealth hospitals across Colorado, about 80 patients are hospitalized after testing positive or awaiting results for COVID-19. At the peak of the outbreak in the spring, UCHealth had an estimated 244 patients hospitalized with confirmed infections.

As the number of people testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 rises in many states across the country, some municipalities have reversed previous efforts to open business and have required those with indoor operations to close again.

UCHealth historic covid-19 casesSlowing the spread of the novel coronavirus will help strengthen Colorado’s economy and keep businesses open.  Infectious disease experts recommend the following safety measures for slowing the coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Practice physical distancing by staying 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Stay home when sick
  • Stay home as much as possible

“We all have a stake in keeping the virus at bay,’’ Steinbruner said. “We can’t let it rob us of our health, our businesses and our economy, our social connections and our sense of community.

Reduced social distancing and increasing travel might be helping transmit the virus to others. Dr. Michelle Barron, medical director of infectious diseases and prevention at UCHealth and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, says some patients have likely acquired COVID-19 while vacationing in other states.

A photo of Dr. Michelle Barron
Dr. Michelle Barron

“While it is certainly safest to stay home and away from others, if you travel, I recommend that you clean your hands often and thoroughly, wipe down surfaces like airplane tray tables with bleach wipes, avoid touching your face, and wear a mask. It’s also important to monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. Get tested and stay away from others if you feel sick.”

For information on COVID-19 testing through UCHealth, please click here. To find community testing locations throughout Colorado, please click here.

Please note:

  • Test results will be sent to the individual’s My Health Connection account. Results will be available as soon as possible, but may take longer than expected due to high demand..
  • Please do not call the lab or testing site as they are unable to check on or share individual results.
  • Testing site hours are subject to change.

Scientists across the world are working around the clock to find a vaccine. UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital will soon enroll patients in the first large-scale U.S. clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The phase 3 study of Moderna’s experimental vaccine will include 1,000 people at University of Colorado Hospital. Another 30,000 patients nationwide will participate in the trial, which is slated to start this summer. To learn more about the trial, click here.

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.