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Burdened Arizona hospitals turn away ambulances, transfers

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 17:39:40-05

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's largest hospital chain says some hospitals have stopped accepting patients brought to them by ambulance runs and transfers as they scramble to address a backlog of sick people amid a COVID-19 surge.

Banner Health said 10 hospitals late Monday were diverting ambulances and transfers to other medical facilities and six were still doing so early Tuesday.

Arizona has the second highest coronavirus infection rate in the nation. State officials announce Arizona will include people aged 75 and older in the second phase of vaccinations against COVID-19 in a move to keep hospitals from getting further overwhelmed.