Colorado will allow the state’s health department to order hospitals and autonomous emergency departments to transfer or cease admission and redirect patients to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to 9News.
Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order on Oct. 31 authorizing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to order hospitals and stand-alone emergency departments to transfer patients or cease admitting patients.
In the decree, Mr Polis referred to an increase in COVID-19 cases, largely due to the highly contagious delta variant, as well as the roughly 20% of Coloradans who have yet to receive the vaccine. Because of these factors, he said, the number of people seeking medical treatment in hospitals can exceed the capacity of any given facility.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment “may again have to order [overwhelmed] hospitalsâ¦ to stop admitting patients and may also need to transfer patients to a separate facility without first obtaining the written or informed consent of the individual or the separate facility for such a transfer, âthe decree states. . “Transferring patients from hospitals that have reached capacity or are reasonably expected to meet the capacity of other specified care facilities will help ensure that Coloradians receive adequate care as we continue to fight COVID-19 and promote public health and to protect the ability of hospitals to serve people with COVID-19 and other conditions. This decree is particularly urgent at this time of the pandemic as hospital capacity statewide is less than 10 percent. “
The ordinance gives the state the power to decide whether a hospital has reached or should reach its capacity, depending on 9News.
The decree will expire 30 days from October 31, unless it is renewed.
On October 31, Mr. Polis also amended and extended a disaster recovery decree. The order, among other things, clarifies that crisis care standards can be activated and directs the Colorado Division of Insurance to develop emergency rules for pre-authorization and pre-authorization requirements.
Learn more about orders here.