/ Modified jun 12, 2020 5:27 p.m.

Hospital leaders raise concerns about coronavirus case uptick and capacity

Christopher Conover heard from leaders at Banner Health and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

With the increasing number of coronavirus cases, hospital leaders in Arizona raised their concerns with Christopher Conover. Banner Health Systems recently announced it is nearing capacity for its ICU beds at facilities statewide and seeing greater demand for its services.

“We do load leveling in the Tucson market between our two facilities, the South Campus and the Tucson Campus, we’re able to share and pull resources to maximize our ability to care for our community,” said Dr. Gordon Carr, chief medical officer at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.

“Hospitals are not limitless resources. It is limited and we need to make sure we contain the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Arizona Hospital Association President Ann-Marie Alameddin. She said a shortage of testing supplies means hospitals sometimes wait days for labs to confirm a COVID-19 patient has recovered.

“And if you are unable to discharge patients, you begin to take up that very crucial capacity in the system.”

At a news conference this week, Gov. Doug Ducey acknowledged the rise in cases, which he attributed to an increase in testing. He said ICU bed capacity remains adequate and the state could provide 600 additional “surge beds” but it is unnecessary for now.

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