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Arizona health department alters hospital bed availability reporting

(Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Health Services changed the way it reported intensive care unit and inpatient bed capacity over the weekend.

Previously, the Hospital Bed Usage and Availability section of the state’s COVID-19 dashboard included “surge” beds that aren’t currently active, according to a Saturday blog post from Director Dr. Cara Christ.

The surge beds – backup space hospitals are prepared to activate in the event they exceed their regular capacity — had been included in calculations as filled beds until the change was made Saturday.

The upshot is the total number of ICU and inpatient beds in the dashboard fell, but the percentage of beds filled dropped.

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.

More than 1,200 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Arizona on Sunday, according to the health department, with 390 in ICU beds and 246 using ventilators.

More than 120 COVID-19 patients were discharged from Arizona hospitals Sunday.

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

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