PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Top doctors from Arizona are still urging Gov. Doug Ducey and public health officials to take more action as the state leads the nation in COVID-19 cases in the last seven days.
Top clinical leaders from Banner Health, Dignity Health, HonorHealth, Mayo Clinic and Valleywise Health gathered publicly for the first time on Wednesday to address the latest COVID-19 situation in Arizona.
Bessel says the best way to help ease the strain on hospitals is for these statewide mandates to implemented.
Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Chief Clinical Officer, Banner Health restated her claim that indoor dining is banned and additional mitigation is put in place in Arizona.
Dr. Bessel revealed the doctors gathered on the panel have not recently met with Gov. Ducey, despite their calls for additional measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The doctors are in regular communication with the Arizona Department of Health Services.
At this time 58% of hospital beds are filled just with COVID patients, Dr. Bessel said.
“There will come a point where need will surpass resources” if COVID-19 trends continue in Arizona, according to Mayo Clinic’s Hospital Medical Director Dr. Alyssa Chapital.
Dr. Stephanie Jackson, Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Value Officer, HonorHealth ended the press conference with a plea to stay at home and to avoid indoor dining.
“If you wanted to keep your friends and family safe, indoor dining at this time is not a good idea. We have extremely widespread levels of COVID-19. My advice is to order out, avoid going to the grocery store and have your groceries delivered," Dr. Jackson said.
On Dec. 2 Health care leaders urged Dr. Cara Christ to enact statewide COVID-19 measures including a stop to indoor dining, capping gatherings at 25 people, halting all group athletics, a COVID-19 roadmap for reopenings and closings, and a 10 p.m. curfew. As of Jan. 13, none of their requests have been met.
A spokesperson for Gov. Ducey said the governor met with Dr. Bessel and other medical leaders on March 16, April 17 and June 30.
AZ Governor’s Office is pushing back against this claim. They say the Governor met with medical leaders on March 16th, April 17th, and June 30th. They also pointed to a Banner presser transcript from Dec 2nd where Dr. Bessel references a meeting the Gov. Ducey #azfamily https://t.co/wJRfAELsrv— Max Gorden (@Max_Gorden) January 13, 2021
Editor's Note: A previous headline mentioned doctors have never met with Gov. Ducey regarding COVID-19. That was in error and corrected. The word "response" was missing from the headline.