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Vail Health CEO says local hospital is full of patients from other parts of state

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November 10, 2021, 3:47 pm

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Vail Health hospital is full primarily with non-COVID-19 patients who are being transferred from hospitals around the state that are full with COVID-19 patients, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated.

Vail Health CEO Will Cook on Wednesday said the local hospital is pretty much full of patients right as Vail Mountain opens on Friday and welcomes back the world.

Will Cook

But it’s not because of the locals, who are more than 80% percent vaccinated in Eagle County.

“We’re still in pandemic mode until we get enough herd immunity, and I’m not talking about this valley,” Cook said of the need for more people around the state, country and globe to get the proven, safe and thoroughly tested COVID-19 vaccines.

Colorado as whole is only about 62% fully vaccinated, and Eagle County (81%) and other ski counties are way ahead of that mark. The state on Tuesday adopted crisis standards of care for staffing shortages and overcrowding in Colorado hospitals, where fewer than 100 ICU beds were available on Wednesday.

Vail Health has been taking non-COVID patients from other hospitals around the state that are full with COVID-19 patients.

“Right now, we’re full with patients, but they’re not from the valley,” Cook told the Vail Symposium’s State of the Vail Valley on Wednesday. “They’re transfers from Alamosa and Montrose and Denver, and they’re doing it because there’s no more beds available throughout the state of Colorado and we’re all leaning in, but I’m telling you if the rest of the counties and the rest of the state would do what we’ve done [in terms of getting vaccinated] I don’t think we’d be in this bed crisis, so thank you to all of you who made that happen.”

Cook said, politics aside, the simple facts are that more than 90% of the people in ICU’s around the state are unvaccinated, and that 99% of the 25 or so people a day dying from the disease in Colorado right now are unvaccinated.

COVID-19 infections have been on the rise in recent days in Eagle County, with 65 new covid infections Monday and Tuesday alone. Still, out of a year-round population of 55,000 people, just 32 have died from the disease in Eagle County since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

2 Responses to Vail Health CEO says local hospital is full of patients from other parts of state

  1. Pat Parrish Reply

    November 10, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    Doctors should refuse to treat patients who are not fully vaccinated! They had a choice to make and they made it….and now they are paying the price. And, as a vaccinated local, if I get legitimately sick and try to go to my hospital, they won’t have room for me because of these idiots!
    Or at the very least, their health insurance should not cover their treatment for a disease they chose to take a chance of getting….when there was an option!
    This is nuts.

  2. karen woodard Reply

    November 12, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    This is happening all over the state and it is not ok. What are these people thinking who choose to not be vaccinated…that the rest of us will take care of them???? These are the very people who decry socialism yet are they not expecting the state will take care of them in their absence of good decision making????
    Sorry to be a hard ass on this but those of us who took a chance on being vaccinated for good health and taking care of others in the decision to be vaccinated are now being punished if by chance we do get sick (from any illness as well as c19) by the morons who don’t give a hoot about anyone else but themselves.

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