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Ducey to reopen St. Luke’s Medical Center to fight coronavirus outbreak

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Thursday the state will reopen St. Luke’s Medical Center. The hospital is located at 18th and Van Buren streets. (Peter Samore/KTAR News)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Thursday the state will reopen a Phoenix medical center to deal with potential overflow of coronavirus patients.

St. Luke’s Medical Center, located at 18th and Van Buren streets, will have 339 ICU high acuity beds available for usage within the next three weeks, Ducey said during a press conference.

The beds will be available at the time the state is projected to have peak hospitalizations due to COVID-19, according to Ducey.

The medical center closed last November because of low patient numbers.

“Our hope is that we never have to use these beds, that our physical distancing measures, travel restrictions, limitations on elective surgeries and other protective actions will mean fewer infections and less strain on our health care system,” Ducey said.

“But we have also learned around the globe and specifically from New York state. In Arizona, we’ve had time to plan and prepare, so we are planning for a worst-case scenario. It’s the responsible thing to do.”

Ducey added that state has plans to increase bed capacity in other counties, including Pima and Coconino.

State health officials had previously mentioned reactivating closed hospitals, utilizing space in ambulatory surgical centers, respiratory training facilities and large non-medical venues such as Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in case of bed shortages.

The Republican governor has signed more than 20 executive orders since a state public health crisis was declared on March 11 to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Arizona on Thursday morning reported 3,018 cases and 89 deaths, with 37,178 tests given, for coronavirus.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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