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ADHS to deploy nearly 600 nurses to aid local hospitals with COVID-19 staffing needs

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TUCSON (KVOA) - With hospitals across Arizona struggling to keep up with staffing demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona Department of Health Services announced Wednesday that it will deploy 600 nurses across the state thanks to a partnership with Vizient, Inc.

Early in July, several Tucson-area hospitals shared that its medical staff is stretching itself thin as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes intensive care units near full capacity. Tucson Medical Center shared that its staff is currently working almost five 12-plus-hour shifts; regular staff hours typically run at three 12-hour shifts per week.

With the latest Arizona numbers increasing by 3,257 additional COVID-19 cases on Wednesday alone, ADHS announced it would be sending out critical care and medical-surgical nurses free of charge to the hospital for up to six weeks.

“ADHS is committed to supporting our hospital partners and frontline healthcare workers,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “Our frontline healthcare workers and hospital staff have worked tirelessly to care for Arizonans and we are so appreciative of their efforts. We’ve prioritized providing these staffing resources to fill critical resource gaps in hospitals and ensure they can continue to provide excellent care across the state.”

ADHS said in addition to the state's support, the federal partners have also dispatched nearly 100 National Disaster Medical System personnel to aid Arizona hospital under a two-week deployment.

Health officials said Arizona hospitals are reporting more than 900 patients hospitalized in its ICUs.

Arizona currently is reporting 131,354 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 2,434 have resulted in death.

For more information, visit azdhs.gov.

Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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