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Arizona hospitals remain busy as COVID-19 admissions continue to slow

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are gradually slowing down in Arizona. But health care facilities  remain extremely busy statewide.

Arizona’s ICU beds remain 92% full. The majority of those ICU patients are being treated for something other than COVID-19. But Dr. Michael White, chief clinical officer with Valleywise Health, said severely ill COVID-19 patients still make an outsized impact on hospital operations.

“They require a tremendous amount of resources and have a very long length of stay within our hospitals," White said. “Even though we’re caring for 20 patients that are acutely positive, I have another eight patients that have recovered from the disease but still require hospital care as they convalesce towards being able to be discharged.”

White said his emergency room is unseasonably busy and the hospital is still short-staffed. He continues to urge Arizonans to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and for the flu to prevent further hospital crowding in Arizona this winter. The majority of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Arizona have not been fully vaccinated.

Arizona is still reporting more than 2,000 new COVID-19 infections per day on average. The state's rate of recent infections per capita remains above the national average. 

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.