ARIZONA NEWS

NW Arizona county rejects emergency declaration despite hospital crisis

Dec 22, 2021, 9:44 AM
“If we don’t find a resolution, we will limit care that sick people need and we will be in a po...
“If we don’t find a resolution, we will limit care that sick people need and we will be in a position of implementing battlefield medicine,” said William McConnell, CEO of the Kingman Regional Medical Center, northwest Arizona's largest health care provider. (Facebook Photo/Kingman Regional Medical Center)
(Facebook Photo/Kingman Regional Medical Center)

KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — The Mohave County Board of Supervisors is willing to consider passing a resolution saying hospitals in northwestern Arizona face a staffing crisis due to the pandemic but balked at declaring a state of emergency for the county over the same issue.

Medical officials on Monday asked the board to declare a state of emergency to help demonstrate to the public that dire conditions in hospitals were a reality and not a political issue, local news outlets reported.

Mohave County, a conservative part of the state that has several small cities but is largely rural, has one of the state’s lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates at 43.4% of eligible people, and its hospitals report being packed with unvaccinated virus patients.

The outbreak is “a reality in our hospitals that is creating a situation where if we don’t find a resolution, we will limit care that sick people need and we will be in a position of implementing battlefield medicine,” said CEO William McConnell of Kingman Regional Medical Center.

“An emergency declaration could signal to this community that what we are experiencing cannot be explained away,” McConnell said, adding that the situation could get much worse before it gets better.

Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City is in “crisis mode,” said hospital CEO Scott Street. “We’ve seen the recent spike that we’re dealing with today from Thanksgiving. We fully anticipate that through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, we’ll see other spikes that could be greater than seen over the past three weeks.”

The board split 3-2 against the requested declaration of emergency but then voted 3-2 to request that hospitals work with county health officials on a resolution to telling county residents of the hospitals’ crisis situation.

That resolution is expected to be presented to the five-member board next month.

Two supervisors voted against both proposals and two others voted for both. Supervisor Travis Lingenfelter voted against the state of emergency but for the alternative proposal.

Supervisor Ron Gould, who opposed both proposals, said a county resolution would be useless because the pandemic has eroded public trust in government at all levels.

“They’ve been lied to repeatedly,” he said. “It’s not going to make a darn bit of difference because they don’t trust us.”

Supervisor Hildy Angius, who also voted against both proposals, told the hospital officials she questioned whether a county declaration was necessary or even an effective tool.

“I just don’t see the importance of it from this body,” Angius said. “It seems to me that you should spend your time going to the state, going to your federal elected people.”

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
KTAR.com

Jomax interchange opens to complete Loop 303 expansion in Peoria

Work on a yearlong, $20.3 million project to expand Loop 303 in the northwest Valley wrapped up Thursday, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Capitol Museum)...
Associated Press

Arizona bill would ban transgender girls, women from teams that align with their gender identity

Transgender girls and women would be barred from competing on the high school or college sports team that aligns with their gender identity under a proposed Arizona law that was approved on party lines by a state Senate committee on Thursday.
1 day ago
(AP File Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Woman acquitted in protest of Arizona border wall construction

A Tohono O’odham woman was found not guilty Wednesday on federal misdemeanor charges stemming from her protest of border wall construction on her tribe's ancestral land.
1 day ago
(Sketch provided by Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)...
KTAR.com

Arizona authorities hoping to identify remains of girl known as ‘Little Miss Nobody’

An Arizona sheriff's office is working in hopes of finally identifying the remains of a young girl who was found 60 years ago and dubbed "Little Miss Nobody."
1 day ago
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.(AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)...
Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona announces 2nd COVID-19 infection

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva has contracted COVID-19 for the second time, saying Thursday he has minor symptoms.
1 day ago
Irene Luevano and Jorge Quintero Lara (Courtesy Photos)...
KTAR.com

Body of missing 37-year-old Phoenix woman found in western Arizona

The body of a missing 37-year-old Phoenix woman was found in a western Arizona county and her boyfriend is set to face charges in her death, authorities said Thursday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona State University

This is the best year to get your MBA

Getting a master’s degree is a major commitment of time, energy, and money, so returning to school — even if you’re thinking about a part-time program that allows you to keep working — is one of the biggest decisions of your career.
...
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
...
Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
NW Arizona county rejects emergency declaration despite hospital crisis