Ducey allocates an additional $60M for hospital staffing amid pandemic
PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey allocated an additional $60 million on Wednesday to provide additional staffing at Arizona hospitals as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state.
“The numbers in Arizona are heading in the wrong direction. COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in Arizona and they are rising around the nation,” Ducey said at a press conference.
“That’s why today we are unveiling new measures to mitigate the spread and protect our health care system.”
The new funding comes in addition to $25 million the governor allocated two weeks ago, bringing the total hospital staffing funds to $85 million.
Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said the additional health care workers will come from the staffing company the state worked with in the summer.
Health officials have warned that the state will face a hospital crisis as coronavirus cases continue to surge and some are bracing to exceed their capacity.
The top doctor at Banner Health, Arizona’s largest hospital chain, said last week that forecasts showed its medical centers would exceed 125% of their licensed capacity on Friday.
Statewide, 31% of all inpatient beds and 37% of all ICU beds were filled with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, levels last seen in late July and early August. Overall, inpatient beds were 87% filled and ICU beds were 90% filled.
On Wednesday, Arizona health officials reported 3,840 new coronavirus cases and 52 deaths, bringing the documented cases to 340,979 COVID-19 infections and 6,739 fatalities.