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Pima County Advisory: Hospitals will be overwhelmed in 3 weeks

A look inside the unit for COVID-19, coronavirus patients at Tucson Medical Center.
Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 21, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A new health advisory in Pima County Monday says hospitals have "surpassed critical levels" of bed availability and is urging the public to stay home and wear masks.

The county's new advisory urges continued adherence to its mask mandate, a mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and a request to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people. The county is also asking businesses to reduce occupancy to 25%.

“We have surpassed critical levels of hospital bed usage due to the high rate of community-wide spread occurring in Pima County,” the advisory says. “In the last week, there have been multiple times when there have been no ICU beds available in Pima County; at different times, hospital medical/surgical beds have also reached capacity. Modeling indicates public health and healthcare resources in Pima County will continue to be further stretched and demand for those resources will overwhelm the healthcare system within the next two to three weeks.”

PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY: Click here to read the full memo from Pima County

In a news release Monday, the county says December is on pace to have more new infections in Pima County than all other months of the pandemic combined.

"The patients filling these hospitals are absolutely real and if you have a heart attack, or if you get into a car accident, or your appendix bursts, there is a real possibility that you may not get the timely care you need to save your life if we don’t get control of this virus,” Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said in the news release.

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