PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- One of the state’s top health experts warns that it could take months before hospitals operating in crisis mode can return to normal.

On Monday, Gov. Ducey authorized hospitals to implement their crisis standards of care as the record number of new coronavirus cases push care facilities to the brink. Under these protocols, care is rationed to conserve resources which could lead hospitals to choose which patients receive treatment and which ones don’t.

At the same time, the governor also issued an executive order to close bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing rentals for 30 days to slow the spread.

Will Humble, who served as the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services under Gov. Brewer, welcomed the governor’s action although he said it came too late for over-stressed hospitals.

Humble worries about a situation in which doctors and nurses might have to decide who gets treatment and who doesn't. “I’d expect us to see the numbers to start to turn around in terms of new cases long before we’re able to dig of the crisis standards of care,” he said.


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