Arizona sees an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, among highest in the nation
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona has been leading the nation with COVID-19 cases for weeks now, and with the holidays approaching, doctors expect these numbers to rise.
“Over the last two and a half weeks we’ve seen about a 60% increase inpatients hospitalized that carry the disease of COVID-19,” said Dr. Michael White, the Chief Clinical Officer at Valleywise Health.
The increase has doctors across the Valley taking note. “There are certainly still patients who are high risk. They have risk factors and some people do get really sick and unfortunately do end up in the hospital or in the ICU, which we are starting to see more of those sicker patients,” said Dr. Devin Minior, Physician Executive of Banner Urgent Care.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that about 8% of the state’s ICU beds are being used by COVID-19 patients, compared to the less than 1% reported in mid-October. Data shows only five other states are reporting higher numbers. “The numbers before indicate there was no surge and that we were doing alright. The numbers now indicate there is a surge and the thing that’s complicating it is that it’s not just covid, it’s also RSV and flu,” said Dr. Shad Marvasti, Public Health Director at the University of Arizona.
Hospitals are reportedly seeing a different problem this year. RSV and the flu already strain them, and that’s why doctors are once again urging people to get vaccinated. “It’s really critical to get this new booster shot because it takes a couple weeks for the body to develop immunity in response to the vaccine. So it takes at least two weeks sometimes three,” said Dr. Marvasti.
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