State COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and occupied ICU beds at all-time high

State hospitals occupied at all time high

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A spike in COVID-19 cases means our hospitals are filling up fast. In fact, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admits are higher than they’ve ever been.

The state of Arizona has been open again for about a month, but Banner Health said in a social post about recent data and stats on COVID, “..the trend is concerning to us.”

“We’ve seen an increase in cases of COVID-19, and we’re also starting to see an increase of hospitalized patients as a result of that,” said Dr. Gordon Carr, Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Outcomes, Banner UMC.

According to state data, around 75 percent of the ICU beds in Arizona are full. The number of ICU beds being used for COVID-19 patients has been steadily on the rise since April. As of Monday, more ICU beds were being used to treat COVID-19 patients since the state started keeping track, with 438 on Monday.

It’s not the only stat trending this way, Emergency Department COVID-19 cases reaching an all-time high, with 848 on Monday.

Inpatient COVID-19 cases stretching close to 1300—more than a 50 percent increase since mid-May

“I think we’re all concerned. I think it’s prudent to be concerned when we see case volumes go up and demand for service go up,” said Dr. Carr.

In a written statement, ADHS says the majority of inpatient and ICU beds are occupied by non-COVID patients. ADHS and the Governor’s office said while an increase of COVID-19 patients was expected, especially since the state is testing more people, the department said, the data indicates “continuing community spread of COVID-19.”

During the weekend, ADHS sent a letter to hospitals, similar to one sent in March—urging and reminding hospitals to enact emergency protocols if needed. It also said to stop elective surgeries if they don’t have a 14 day supply of PPE or if more than 80 percent of their beds are occupied, as well as other indicators.

Right now, banner UMC says they will continue to monitor their capacity and make decisions from there.

“Today we are able to meet the healthcare needs of our community, but if we, as a community, let our guard down and significantly more people get sick, there would be a risk of saturating or overwhelming the healthcare system,” said Dr. Carr.

Banner Health and ADHS said the increases they have seen show the importance of taking precautions to prevent the spread, like wearing masks in public, washing hands regularly and continuing to practice social distancing.

Northwest sent us this statement regarding an increase in COVID cases:

“We are seeing more patients who qualify for COVID-19 testing but have inpatient capacity and the resources to take care of a surge in patients if it develops. Our facilities and processes have been adjusted so we can provide COVID-safe care for all individuals who need medical attention.”

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