KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College, and Maricopa Community Colleges
Privacy Policy | FCC Public File | Contest Rules
Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Are Slowing, But Arizona ICU Beds Are Still 92% Full

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona are slowing after a summer surge, but the virus continues to strain health care resources in the state.

Arizona's COVID-19 test positivity rate, and daily cases and deaths per capita, remain higher than the national averages,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And hospitals in the state remain unseasonably busy.

Dr. Marjorie Bessel, chief clinical officer with Banner Health, said patients coming in with this vaccine-preventable illness are making it harder to treat patients seeking care for other issues.

“The problem that we have right now is we have too many COVID patients in our hospitals," Bessel said Wednesday. She said the vast majority of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 have not been vaccinated. She said increasing Arizona's vaccination rate should remain a top priority.

"Please help us so we can be available to everybody who needs us," she said.  

The state’s hospital ICU beds are 92% full. Bessel warns hospitals could become even more crowded as we enter flu season.

“We can have a run on things like availability of timely ED visits, availability of inpatient beds. At this time, we believe the most constrained resource will be our very skilled staff,” Bessel said. 

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.