Coco Victoria Gomez Tirambulo, MPH UA College of Medicine – Tucson MD/PhD Student PCMS student…
Arizonans urged to take prevention steps to protect themselves and their communities
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) released the latest data on Saturday, June 6 related to COVID-19 cases reported in the state and the status of hospital capacity in the state.
As the total number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 1,891,690 nationwide, Arizona has reached 25,451 cases. COVID-19 related deaths nationwide total 109,192, with 1,042 deaths reported in Arizona. Nationwide the percentage of positive tests is at 11 percent, with 7.2 percent COVID-19 positive PCR tests in Arizona.
Updated numbers as of Monday, June 8: Arizona has reached 27,678 cases; 1,047 deaths; and 402,660 tests.
“As this pandemic continues to spread across the world, the country, and our state, we continue to see increased cases in Arizona,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “With the phased reopening, it’s important for Arizonans to understand that COVID-19 is widespread and still circulating in our community. We urge every Arizonan, especially Arizonans in routine contact with our older residents or those at high risk of complications, to take precautions to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19.”
Arizonans can take the following precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:
- Physically distance by staying at least 6 feet away from others and wearing a cloth face-covering in public settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Arizonans at higher risk for severe illness should continue to stay at home and avoid attending congregate settings. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Pick up the phone when your health department calls.
If you believe you have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19, stay home unless you are seeking medical care. Arizonans can find COVID-19 testing locations by clicking here.
Hospital Capacity in Arizona
With increased cases, COVID-19 hospitalizations have also increased, with more than 1,200 COVID-19 inpatients reported in Arizona hospitals. These increases, while expected, indicate continuing community spread of COVID-19 and underscore the importance of COVID-19 prevention measures all Arizonans should take. Since March 11, 2020, when Gov. Ducey declared a statewide public health emergency, Arizona has taken aggressive action to increase hospital capacity for Arizonans, including:
- Gov. Ducey’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected order, that provided time for Arizona’s hospitals to make preparations to expand capacity and implement strategies to respond to a surge in cases expected to occur with increased community spread. While the order was in place, hospitals reported their success in increasing their capacity by 600 ICU beds and 2,600 medical surgical beds statewide. In addition, during the time the order was in place, hospitals indicated their ability to procure necessary personal protective equipment that previously was in short supply, to keep their staff and patients safe.
- Gov. Ducey’s Statewide Access to Care for COVID-19 order, and the creation of the Arizona Surge Line, a free statewide 24/7 call line for hospitals and their providers that optimizes hospital resources by quickly coordinating the transfer, admission and discharge of patients statewide.
Data reported by Arizona hospitals indicates that while the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals is rising, the majority of both inpatient and ICU beds are occupied by non-COVID patients.
- 78 percent of occupied inpatient beds are occupied by non-COVID related patients, with 22 percent of all inpatients reported by hospitals to be infected with or suspected to be infected with COVID-19.
- 67 percent of occupied ICU beds are occupied by non-COVID related patients, with 33 percent of ICU patients infected with or suspected to be infected with COVID-19.
- 24 percent of ICU beds and 20 percent of inpatient beds remain available statewide.
Public health monitors the health of Arizona’s health care system using data reported by hospitals and works to facilitate resource and staffing support at the local, state or federal level for facilities with assistance needs that exceed what is available through implementation of their emergency plans. Working together and using resources like the Arizona Surge Line and the Emergency System for Advanced Registration of Volunteer Healthcare Professionals, public health and hospitals will continue to support the health of Arizonans through this COVID-19 response.
ADHS activated its Health Emergency Operations Center on January 27 after the first case of travel-associated COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about Arizona’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, click here.