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Arizona’s health care leaders beg ADHS, governor’s office to take COVID-19 action


Medical officers at eight Arizona hospital networks have asked Dr. Cara Christ to take “swift action … to prevent Arizona hospitals from reaching crisis level of care, avoid preventable deaths from COVID and keep children in school.”

Representatives from Banner Health, Dignity Health, Health Choice Arizona, Honor Health, Mayo Clinic, Tucson Medical Center, Valleywise Health, and Yavapai Regional Medical Center sent a letter to the head of the Arizona Department of Health Services Tuesday.

Their request came just hours after ADHS announced more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases statewide. Although ADHS attributed that exceptionally high number to a lag in reporting over the Thanksgiving weekend, Arizona has seen what amounts to a section surge of COVID-19 in the past several weeks.

Like the first surge over the summer, it’s putting a strain on hospitals. As of Wednesday morning, Arizona’s ICUs were at 90% capacity, and inpatient beds were at 87%.

If the numbers keep going up, which is what medical experts believe will happen during the holidays, hospitals could be forced to make some tough choices about who receives care.

The hospitals’ letter cites “rapidly rising case counts and […]

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