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Hospitals near capacity as COVID-19 cases continue to spike

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TUCSON (KVOA) - With the Arizona Department of Health Services reporting 3,428 new cases of Coronavirus Friday, Pima County Heatlh Director Dr. Theresa Cullen told News 4 Tucson 30 additional ventilators are on the way to area hospitals.

As the virus rapidly spreads across Arizona, bed space becomes an alarming concern.

The state health department reports 88 percent of ICU beds are full.

“We remain very, very concerned about the ICU situation and the medical, surgical bed situation,“ Cullen said. “We’re not overcapacity. We do know that many of the hospitals in Tucson have already opened additional beds. I think the public needs to know we are almost to our maximum ability.“

Cullen knows the hospitals and frontline workers are using the hospital surge line to get patients the best possible care.

“Which is the ability to transfer one hospital to another,” Cullen said. “It’s statewide. We not only pay attention to what’s going on in Tucson. We pay attention to what’s going on in most cases in Maricopa County because if we got in trouble, most patients would likely be transferred to Phoenix.”

Cullen stresses people need to start taking this pandemic more seriously.

“I think we need to be more aggressive as a community, really reflective about the choices we’re making,” she said.

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Eric Fink

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