Banner adding more nurses as Ducey says Arizona nearing surge capacity

Jun 25, 2020, 5:56 PM | Updated: 10:38 pm

(Getty Images/Raul Sifuentes)...

(Getty Images/Raul Sifuentes)

(Getty Images/Raul Sifuentes)

PHOENIX — The same day Banner Health announced it was deploying more than 200 additional nurses to combat a statewide spike in coronavirus cases, Gov. Doug Ducey said Arizona’s hospitals were on the verge of reaching surge capacity.

“Our cases are increasing,” Ducey said during a press conference on Thursday.

“Our hospitals are seeing additional stress and they are likely to hit surge capacity very soon.”

Earlier on Thursday, Banner Health said it had brought in the additional nurses via contractor as part of its strategy to avoid exceeding surge capacity at its hospitals, according to a press release.

To ease the stress and patient influx at Arizona hospitals, Ducey urged Arizonans on Thursday to utilize more caution and stay home whenever possible.

Wednesday marked the 10th consecutive day the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients checked into Arizona’s hospitals, jumping overnight to 2,453 from 2,270. That statistic has increased by 47% in the past week and more than 100% since June 8, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Wednesday was also the second consecutive day in which overall ICU bed usage remained at a pandemic-high of 88%.

“We are absolutely experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients that are coming in for care, and we are starting to get full,” Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Marjorie Bessel stated in the release.

“We do have plans, however, to continue to increase our capacity so that we can meet the demand of the communities and all the people that we serve.”

Banner health is also working with Sonora Quest Labs and AZDHS to test Arizonans for COVID-19.

Their testing capacity is currently limited to about 1,000 patients per day.

The health care provider has also encouraged all residents to wear face coverings when in public and to stay home if feeling ill.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order in March which halted elective surgery procedures on March 21.

In April, Ducey announced the return of elective surgeries on May 1 only in facilities that had at least 20% of their beds available.

Thursday morning, Arizona reported an additional 3,056 coronavirus cases and 27 more deaths, bringing state totals to 63,030 and 1,490, respectively.

On Tuesday, Arizona reported a single-day high of 3,591 new COVID-19 cases.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

A second pedestrian was hit and killed by a vehicle on eastbound Interstate 10 near the Broadway Cu...

2nd pedestrian struck, killed in separate incident on EB Interstate 10 in Phoenix

A second pedestrian was hit and killed by a vehicle on eastbound Interstate 10 near the Broadway Curve in Phoenix on Monday.

5 minutes ago

Carol Norrs, 86, of Mesa was found dead in the desert on Dec. 11, 2023....

86-year-old Mesa woman found dead in desert nearly month after disappearance

An 86-year-old Mesa woman was found dead in a desert area almost a month after she went missing, authorities said Monday.

39 minutes ago

Protesters shout as they join march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court decision to ...

Associated Press

Arizona Supreme Court scheduled to hear arguments on abortion law

The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on whether the pre-statehood abortion ban of 1864 should apply.

2 hours ago

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs sits in a classroom with a group of elementary school students in a fi...

Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs invests $2M in teacher mentoring after task force issues findings

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs didn’t take long to act after her Educator Retention Task Force reported its findings, but there are plenty of issues left to address.

3 hours ago

Crews work to secure a gas leak near Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and 92nd Street on Monday, Dec. 1...

Crews work to secure significant gas leak, restricting traffic in Scottsdale

Traffic was restricted Monday morning on a major Scottsdale through street while crews worked to fix a significant gas leak, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Follow @suelenrivera...

SuElen Rivera

Tickets for ‘Hamilton’ at ASU Gammage in Tempe go on sale

Show tickets to see the Broadway sensation musical "Hamilton" in the summer in Tempe's ASU Gammage went on sale Monday.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Banner adding more nurses as Ducey says Arizona nearing surge capacity