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Colorado order allows hospitals to stop admitting, transfer patients when at capacity due to COVID-19

Colorado order allows hospitals to stop admitting, transfer patients when at capacity due to COVID-19
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Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado legislature approves measure to ban styrofoam, add fee to single use products Colorado to offer ,000 scholarships for young people to get vaccinated Supreme Court justice denies Colorado churches' challenge to lockdown authority MORE (D) signed an executive order on Monday that allows hospitals to stop admitting new patients when they reach capacity and transfer patients to other hospitals.

The executive order permits the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to direct at-capacity hospitals to transfer patients to other facilities, without first obtaining written permission from the patient. 

“Unfortunately, given the increase in infections, the number of persons seeking medical treatment at hospitals may far exceed the capacity of any given hospital,” the order reads. 

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“Hospitals who have reached capacity may need to cease admitting patients and may also need to transfer such patients to a separate facility without first obtaining the individual’s written or informed consent for such transfer,” the order continues. 

The order, which will be in effect for the next 30 days, permits hospitals that are at “capacity to examine and treat patients” to send them to other health care facilities in an effort to prevent the hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.  

Federal law still requires that emergency rooms screen unstable patients before transferring them to another hospital, Denver NBC affiliate 9 News reported

Colorado, like much of the country, is experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. As of Monday, 1,711 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, according to state data from 93 percent of the state’s hospitals. 

A total of 33 percent of facilities are expecting staff shortages within the next week, while 10 percent are expecting intensive care unit bed shortages in that time. 

Colorado has documented 192,943 confirmed cases and 9,346 probable cases since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been 2,456 deaths, according to the COVID Tracking Project.