Arizona COVID-19 hospitalizations up as Banner Health details care plan

Jul 3, 2020, 11:12 AM | Updated: 11:15 am
(Banner Health Photo)...
(Banner Health Photo)
(Banner Health Photo)

PHOENIX — As hospitalizations and emergency room visits for COVID-19 skyrocket in Arizona, Banner Health is detailing what Monday’s activation of the state’s Crisis Standard of Care Plan means as resources tighten.

In an internal memo obtained by ABC15, Banner Health stated there could be changes in staffing models at hospitals, alternate areas/sites for patient care, providers in different roles than usual and the use of different equipment.

Extensive liability and malpractice protection is also provided for caregivers under the plan.

Banner Health in the memo stated the activation of the plan at the crisis level is the first time this has been done in the country and in Arizona’s history, adding the plan was activated at the request of Banner Health and other health care systems.

The Arizona health department reported 4,433 new coronavirus cases and 31 deaths Friday morning, bringing the state’s documented totals to 91,858 cases and 1,788 fatalities.

ICU bed use in Arizona reached a pandemic-high 91% on Friday with only 156 ICU beds available, and inpatient bed use was reported to be at 85% with 1,135 beds available.

While 341 people were reported to be discharged from Arizona hospitals after 422 were discharged on Thursday, the state reported Friday pandemic-highs of 3,013 inpatient COVID-19 cases and 1,847 suspected or positive emergency room visits for the virus.

It’s the first time during the pandemic that inpatient COVID-19 cases in Arizona surpassed 3,000.

Banner Health stated in the memo hospitals are not currently triaging patients, where decisions have to be made about what kind of care patients receive based on resources available, but said there is a plan in place should the need arise.

Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ in a press conference on Monday called the Crisis Standard of Care Plan a proactive move.

“It gives the hospitals a framework that allows them to determine if they do get short on resources how they can allocate those,” she said.

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Arizona COVID-19 hospitalizations up as Banner Health details care plan