Banner Health officials urge community to take COVID-19 seriously

Posted at 6:43 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 09:43:55-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Banner Health in Phoenix held a press conference Monday to update new findings with the coronavirus.

Banner Health leaders want the community to understand this virus is new to them, so they're learning everyday new practices to tackle it. The hospital's newest policy is only allowing one visitor per patient, and the vistory must be healthy before entering.

This new change comes because Chief Clinical Officer at Banner Health Marjorie Bessel said in a press conference, 80% of people who get the virus will experience mild symptoms, but can still spread the illness.

The other 20% will need to seek medical attention in a hospital.

With an unknown virus like COVID-19 -- Doctor Bessel said they'll continue changing practices as they learn more about it.

She said this doesn't mean panic, but rather listen to health professionals and do your part.

"We need to follow the evidence based practices that we know will help us," Dr. Bessel said. "That includes washing your hands. Don't touch your face. Don't come to work if you're ill. Follow social gathering principals. Do not go to large gathers."

She said the sooner we get serious about social distancing, the better off we'll be in the long run.

Tuesday afternoon Governor Doug Ducey will be meeting with Health Department leaders in Tucson at 3 p.m. to update the community further on Arizona's response.