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.

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 Photo/Arizona Supreme Court)...
Associated Press

Arizona high court won’t fast-track Arizona AG’s election fight appeal

The Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to fast-track an appeal from Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich after a judge sided with Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs over election rules.
9 hours ago
(Karrin Taylor Robson Photo; KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...

Ducey endorses Taylor Robson in Arizona GOP governor’s race

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey endorsed gubernatorial hopeful Karrin Taylor Robson in the GOP race, he announced Thursday.
9 hours ago
(AP Photo/John Locher)...

Phoenix agrees to leave additional water in Lake Mead in effort to slow reservoir’s decline

The Phoenix City Council last week agreed to leave additional Colorado River water in Lake Mead in an effort to slow the reservoir's decline.
9 hours ago
Tyson Ritter (R) of The All-American Rejects performs during the Vans Warped Tour 25th Anniversary ...

The All-American Rejects to headline emo music festival at Phoenix Raceway

Get ready to comb your hair over one eye as a music festival coming to Phoenix Raceway later this year will feature multiple emo bands, headlined by The All-American Rejects.
9 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill expanding training to increase teacher numbers

Arizona public schools now have greater access to recruitment and training options for teachers and other educational leaders after a bill expanding training was signed Tuesday by Gov. Doug Ducey.
9 hours ago
(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

3 arrested after 86 undocumented immigrants found in Phoenix

Three people were arrested last week for allegedly conspiring to smuggle nearly 90 undocumented immigrants into Phoenix for profit, authorities said. 
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
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.
Banner adding more nurses as Ducey says Arizona nearing surge capacity