ARIZONA NEWS

Former Arizona health director: State could need new stay-at-home order

Jun 8, 2020, 4:45 PM | Updated: 9:52 pm
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)...
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

PHOENIX — The former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said Monday the state could need a new stay-at-home order if coronavirus trends he calls “disturbing” continue.

“If the trends continue, I think we’re on a railroad track to field hospitals and/or another stay-at-home order,” Will Humble told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad.

Arizona has seen a rise in COVID-19 case totals and hospitalizations recently, trends Humble considers alarming.

The state reported Monday that 79% of inpatient beds and 77% of ICU beds were filled, leaving 1,506 inpatient beds and 363 ICU beds open.

Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Banner Health’s chief medical officer, said Friday its hospital system was reaching capacity for ICU beds and was wary of having to dip into surge capacity.

Humble, who served in the position from 2009 to 2015, said he’s been concerned by rising trends since May 26.

That accounts for a reporting lag and other factors associated with the end of Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order on May 15.

“We’ve got some disturbing trends that have really been happening since about May 26,” Humble said. “Later on, we started to see all of the behavior that happened over the Memorial Day weekend being reflected in the cases you’re seeing today for that lag time.”

The state reported totals of 27,678 coronavirus cases and 1,047 deaths on Monday morning.

Humble’s concerns were echoed Friday by Marcy Flanagan, Maricopa County’s public health executive health director.

Flanagan said there are signs that community spread of COVID-19 in metro Phoenix is growing beyond what was expected because of the state’s reopening plan.

“We’re seeing some bad trends not only in cases but some trends in hospitalization capacity that look to me to be alarm bells,” Humble said.

Humble said there are decisions that can be made soon to help push Arizona trends back in the right direction.

First, he advised the state to test more and work on infection control at nursing homes and other senior living communities.

He also recommended allowing local leaders to implement policies, something they can’t do under Ducey’s current executive order.

Ducey said Thursday during a press conference he believes his office and public health officials have chosen the best course of action in handling the coronavirus outbreak.

“I think [our course of action] depends on what kind of policy decisions are made in the next 10 days,” Humble said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park...
Luke Forstner

Valley expert shares lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

People looking to cool off at a lake this Memorial Day weekend are asked to do so safely after a string of drownings.
6 hours ago
VR equipment and a version of the TASER 7 that utilizes VR technology for training, is demonstrated...
Taylor Tasler

Phoenix Police use virtual reality headsets to train for calls in the field

The Phoenix Police Department is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to use virtual reality to provide officers training in the field. 
6 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...
KTAR.com

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
6 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...
KTAR.com

No Valley freeway closures planned for Memorial Day weekend

Drivers won't have to worry about scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways this Memorial Day weekend, ADOT said.
6 hours ago
Marcos Anthony Herrera and Anthony Michael Murray (Scottsdale Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Scottsdale police arrest 2 men in string of robberies, burglaries

Scottsdale police arrested two men who are allegedly responsible for at least 12 separate crimes across metro Phoenix, authorities said Thursday.
6 hours ago
Jose Dioicio Buelna. (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona man sentenced to 5 years for selling fentanyl

An Arizona man was sentenced to five years in prison last week for his role in a drug trafficking organization, authorities said. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
Former Arizona health director: State could need new stay-at-home order