TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The surge in COVID-19 cases in Arizona have university researchers urging state leaders to implement a 3-week shelter-in-place order and statewide mask mandate.
The University of Arizona’s COVID Modeling Team sent a letter Friday to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Researchers foresee a hospital crisis with the state’s current spike and said the situation could become a disaster if nothing is done.
The modeling team said, “It would be akin to facing a major forest fire without evacuation orders,” if actions such as a three-week stay-home shutdown aren’t taken.
If trends continue, the research team projects Arizona will surpass the hospitalization peak seen in July sometime before Jan. 1.
In the letter, the COVID Modeling Team recommends emergency economic relief to small businesses and families impacted.
On Friday, the Director of the Arizona Department of Health described the rising number of hospital admissions.
“We are seeing concerning increases in the number of inpatient and ICU beds in use and the COVID-like illness metric indicating increased visits to the emergency room and admissions to the hospital for COVID-19 throughout Arizona,” said Director of the Arizona Dept. of Health Services Dr. Cara Christ.
Banner Health sent a statement to KOLD News 13 which stated its hospitals are “experiencing exponential growth of COVID-19.”
The statement said the increase in COVID patients, seasonal illnesses and likelihood of large gathering over the holidays is “a perfect storm that will lead to increased spread and deaths.” At this time, Banner Health reports it still has capacity for patients in its hospitals.