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Larimer officials concerned about rising hospitalizations

graphic depicting a satellite beacon with the text "Breaking News" in all caps
(Graphic Illustration by Malia Berry | The Collegian)

Larimer County health officials expressed concern about rising levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations as flu season approaches. 

According to an Oct. 9 press release from the Larimer County Department of Health & Environment, hospitals in Larimer County are “already at or exceeding capacity” in the face of the arrival of flu and respiratory syncytial virus season. 

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According to the press release, intensive care unit utilization in the County is “at 105% of the level of customary care,” and 40% of ICU patients have COVID-19. The press release also states the majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths since Sept. 1 have been unvaccinated individuals.

Given this surge in hospitalizations, the Department of Health & Environment is warning that Larimer County hospitals will not be able to handle the onset of flu season hospitalizations given their current staffing shortages. 

“A typical flu season averages 200 hospitalizations for influenza,” the press release reads. “If we see both record high hospitalizations for COVID(-19) and a normal flu season, our hospital capacity will face an unprecedented challenge.” 

The department urges residents to get vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19 and encourages the use of masks and holding off on large indoor gatherings if attendees are not vaccinated against COVID-19. 

We are facing the potential for hospitals to become even more overwhelmed during the fall and winter,” Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales said in the press release. “Now is the time to get your preventative shots to help minimize the impacts of these viruses.”

Information regarding COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Health & Environment COVID-19 vaccine webpage, and general information on COVID-19 in Larimer County is on the County’s related webpage. 

Natalie Weiland can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @natgweiland.

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About the Contributor
Natalie Weiland
Natalie Weiland, News Director
Natalie Weiland is a sophomore political science student with a minor in legal studies and a fierce love of the Oxford comma. Weiland grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and served as an editor for her high school’s yearbook during her senior year. She credits the absolute chaos of the 2016 presidential election for introducing her to — and getting her hooked on — the world of politics and journalism. Her journey with The Collegian started in the fall of her freshman year when she began writing for the news desk.  In her spare time, Weiland enjoys reading and attempting to not have a heart attack every time The New York Times sends a breaking news update to her phone. She has two incredibly adorable dogs (that she will gladly show pictures of if asked) and three less-adorable siblings.  As news director, Weiland's main goal is to ensure that students trust The Collegian to cover stories that are important to and affect them, and she hopes that students are never afraid to reach out and start a conversation. Weiland is excited to see what The Collegian has in store this year and hopes to explore the campus community through reporting. 

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