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How COVID-only hospitals could alleviate the strain on Arizona's health care system

There are signs that Arizona’s latest surge in COVID-19 cases may have already peaked.

For a third straight day, cases are down with state health officials adding 17,724 new infections and 13 more deaths Jan 20. Case numbers in other parts of the country are dropping fast, and experts expect hospitalizations and deaths to follow soon.

But in Arizona hospitals, cases continue to rise, with just 5% of inpatient beds available.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Arizona has seen 58% of its population fully vaccinated. The national average is 63%.

So the question of what comes next in this seemingly never-ending pandemic looms. And Mike Meyer argues we should be prepared for the worst.

Meyer is a hospital consultant with Meyer Consulting  as well as co-founder of the Institute for Mental Health Research. In a recent op-ed in the Arizona Republic, he makes the case for creating COVID-only hospitals to relieve the pressure on our overly-taxed health care systems when the next wave hits. 

The Show spoke with him to learn about his reasoning.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.