In recent weeks, COVID patients needing hospitalizations is climbing. Phoenix-area hospitals continue to see a strain in capacity due to the steady increase of COVID-19 cases in Arizona. As a result, several Phoenix-area hospital have had to make tough operational changes due to bed usage being at capacity.
Even with the vaccine readily available, hospitals had hope that they would have relief this holiday, but officials report they are in the same situation as last December.
Honor Health, Dignity Health and Valleywise Health confirmed on Monday that they now must make day-to-day, case-by-case decisions to postpone non-urgent surgeries because there are not enough beds at the hospitals currently.
“This continues to put a strain on our resources within the health systems and necessitate that we make some changes,” said Dr. Michael White, the Chief Clinical Officer for Valleywise Health. “The demand is exceeding the capacity right now. We’re seeing our normal everyday health care needs and the additional COVID strain on top of that,” explained Dr. Michael White explained.
If a procedure such as orthopedic surgeries, joint replacements, those types of surgeries can be deferred four to six weeks without hurting a patient, surgeons are being asked to hold off on the procedure. With COVID patients taking up about 40% of Arizona ICU beds, all hospitals are facing the same situation.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Monitor your health daily
- Make an attempt to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Remain at home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.