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.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo)...
KTAR.com

ASU police wellness check turns into interstate effort to help lost elderly couple

Arizona State University police officers last weekend performed a wellness check that became an interstate effort to help a couple who authorities say were confused about where they were.
6 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Mesa International Film Festival kicks off on Friday

The third Mesa International Film Festival will kick off in the Valley on Friday with plenty of films scheduled for the weekend. 
6 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Murder charge in Arizona against divorce lawyer dismissed

A murder charge filed in Arizona against a California lawyer in the 2010 shooting death of his stepdaughter’s husband has been dismissed.
1 day ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

2-year-old girl dies after drowning incident in Phoenix

A 2-year-old girl has died after being pulled out of a pool in Phoenix on Thanksgiving day, police said.
1 day ago
(The Pick Lottery Photo)...
KTAR.com

The Pick lottery ticket sold at Walmart in Surprise hits $8.8 million jackpot

If you bought a ticket for Wednesday night's The Pick lottery drawing in the West Valley, you'll want to check those numbers.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Police investigate death of 27-year-old man found in Phoenix

Police are investigating the death of a 27-year-old man found in Phoenix Thursday morning.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Former Arizona health director: State could need new stay-at-home order