Arizona's COVID-19 battle could soon push hospitals into 'crisis zone'

Arizona's worsening COVID-19 surge could soon mirror the dire situation in California, where intensive care unit availability is at 0 percent in much of the state, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 15.

Arizona currently has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country, the highest per capita rate of new infections and the highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to data from The Atlantic's COVID-19 tracking project.

"We're the hottest spot in the U.S. and among the hottest spots in the entire world," Keith Frey, MD, CMO for Dignity Health's Arizona division, said during a Jan. 13 press conference, according to the Journal. "If we don't slow this down over the course of the next few days and weeks, then we will be fully into that crisis zone." 

The Journal cited state data showing 8 percent ICU bed availability as of Jan. 14. 

During the Jan. 13 press conference, clinical officers from five Arizona health systems called on Gov. Doug Ducey to close indoor dining and implement a mask mandate in hopes of avoiding having to limit care, local NBC affiliate 12 News reports. 

"It is our absolute, sincere desire to not get to crisis and not have to get to triage [standards of care]," said Marjorie Bessel, MD, chief clinical officer at Phoenix-based Banner Health. 

More articles on public health:
Biden shares relief package, appoints Warp Speed head; hospitalizations level off — 4 COVID-19 updates
UK COVID-19 variant to become dominant in US by March, CDC warns
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered


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