The number of patients hospitalized from COVID-19 in Mesa County held at 51 in Saturday’s update from the county health department. That number includes patients from surrounding counties.

Hospitalizations have been an oft-discussed data point this week. The Mesa County Public Health Department on Thursday notified the community that area hospitals were reaching critical thresholds for staffing and capacity. As a result, local facilities instituted surge capacity plans to ensure continued service for more patients.

When health officials first warned residents of issues with hospital capacity, the county was recording 51 hospitalizations from any county. In Saturday’s update from the health department, 32 of the 51 hospitalizations were Mesa County residents.

As reported by The Daily Sentinel earlier this week, the surge capacity efforts were mapped out earlier by local officials in the event of a jump in cases requiring a hospital visit.

“We have hospital beds available, and we have surge plans in place that will allow us to grow capacity and ensure safe, quality care to as many patients as need us,” St. Mary’s Medical Center President Bryan Johnson said a release earlier this week.

County health experts say hospitals were prepared to convert beds to handle Intensive Care Unit patients.

Other facilities, like the Veterans Affairs Western Colorado Health Care System, are taking on some patients to free up staff and space at other hospitals to treat severe cases.

Hospitalizations are up statewide in Colorado but most hospitals report being in good shape as it relates to supplies and ICU beds.

According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, only 1% of hospitals in the state report anticipating a shortage of personal protective equipment. As it relates to ICU bed shortages, only 13% of facilities anticipate a shortage of beds in the next week. A little more than a third of hospitals statewide, however, reported to state health officials that they anticipate a staffing shortage in the next week.

Saturday’s COVID-19 update from the county also noted 182 new positive cases, a decline from previous days, and no new deaths.

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