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Military nurses, tests coming to help hard-hit Arizona city

Coronavirus
Posted at 7:57 AM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 09:57:36-05

PHOENIX (AP) — Exhausted nurses in rural Yuma, Arizona, are regularly sending COVID-19 patients on a long helicopter ride to hospitals in Phoenix when they don’t have enough staff.

The so-called winter lettuce capital of the U.S. also has lagged on coronavirus testing in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods and just ran out of vaccines. But some support is coming from military nurses and a new wave of free tests for farmworkers and the elderly in Yuma County, which is the hardest-hit county in one of the hardest-hit states.

The area's only acute care hospital has no other facility to turn to nearby as it competes for medical workers nationwide.