Hospital crowding in Arizona reaches pandemic high
PHOENX – Crowding of Arizona's strained health care system continues to worsen during the latest surge, with availability of hospital beds sinking to the lowest level since the pandemic began, state officials reported Thursday.
Only 4% of inpatient beds and of intensive care unit beds statewide were available as of Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health Services' coronavirus dashboard. The dashboard also reported 3,663 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 75 more deaths, increasing the state’s pandemic totals to 1,305,260 cases and 22,854 deaths.
The current hospital crowding is due not only to large numbers of COVID-19 patients, most of whom were unvaccinated, but also many non-virus patients needing treatment for other conditions.
Arizona had more COVID-19 hospitalizations during the surge last winter than it does now but many hospitals back then restricted admissions of patients deemed not to require essential care.
The dashboard also reported 3,663 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 75 more deaths, increasing the state’s pandemic totals to 1,305,260 cases and 22,854 deaths.
In another development, the DHS on Wednesday posted the first of what it said will be regular reports on the state's COVID-19 case and death rates by vaccination status.
According to the report, unvaccinated people in Arizona were 3.9 more times as likely to test positive for COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people and 15.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
The health department said the report will be updated every two weeks.
The data in the report begins on June 20, which is when Herrington said the delta variant became the dominant variant in Arizona.