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Mohave County health director: ICU bed availability not a problem

Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley speaks to the board of supervisors about the pandemic at a recent meeting. (Miner file photo)

Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley speaks to the board of supervisors about the pandemic at a recent meeting. (Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – The ICU bed availability in Mohave County is still solid, Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley told the board of supervisors Thursday, May 28.

The availability of testing dominated the meeting, with District 2 Supervisor Hildy Angius asking the health department to inform the public about the resources available.

“The resources are out there, but people just don’t know,” Angius said. “If someone wants to get tested for COVID-19, they can.”

Angius said she receives phone calls from constituents who don’t necessarily show symptoms and wish to be tested. She said the county should try harder to provide information on testing opportunities.

Burley confirmed that hospitals and some private providers offer testing but it is still not widely available. As an example, she said obtaining a COVID-19 test for elective surgeries continues to be a challenge. Burley had previously said that local hospitals have enough testing supplies to meet all of their internal needs, including elective surgeries.

Supervisor Buster Johnson of District 3 observed that an additional problem with arranging testing is the waiting period between the test being taken and the result.

“The five of us could be tested today,” he said to the board. “And two days later we can get results that we are negative, but within those two, three days some of us could have been somewhere. ... I guess that’s the hard part and that’s how it’s spreading so badly.”

“Very much so,” Burley said, adding that is the problem with the unknown and rapid nature of COVID-19.

The neighboring community of Needles, California has two cases of COVID-19, Burley said. Additionally, she said Mohave County has recorded 1,100 cases of the flu so far in the 2019-20 flu season.

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