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Several healthcare providers send united message: help us stop COVID-19 spread

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 20:51:38-05

PHOENIX, Ariz (KGUN) — Even the folks gathered on Wednesday will tell you:

"This is the first time we've come together in a forum like this," said Dr. Michael White, Executive Vice-President and Chief Clinical Officer at Valleywise Health.

Not fear-mongering, stating the facts according to their science: there's an outbreak happening right now and Arizona needs to do something about it.

"Calling for Arizonans to have personal commitment to help us end the pandemic," Dr. White said.

The doctors, from the Mayo Clinic, Banner, Dignity, Valleywise and HonorHealth compelling Governor Doug Ducey and political leaders around Arizona to increase mitigations: mask mandates and curfews.

Those, among other measures, to stop the recent rise of cases and hospitalizations.

"At this time, we are not rationing life-saving resources, but please keep in mind that the care provided at Arizonan hospitals today cannot be defined as usual or customary," Dr. Alyssa Chapital, Hospital Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic, said.

A development that could be considered promising but with dire consequences, the doctors said, if trends go the other way.

"There will come a point at which healthcare needs in our community will surpass hospital resources if we continue to experience uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 here in Arizona," Dr. Chapital said.

By one estimation they reported today, 1-in-10 Arizonans are currently infected.

"We still have at this time, the resources such as ventilators and beds," Dr. Stephanie Jackson, Chief Clinical Officer of HonorHealth, said.

Resources running thin, she said: qualified staff.

"There's a limited supply of those individuals that are trained to deliver vaccines, to deliver ICU care, to deliver hospital care, clinic care."

The doctors, on Wednesday, revealing they've had to call in reserves.

"We have pulled some people back from retirement and credentialed them to help provide resources," Dr. Chapital said.

According to the state's health department: only 7% of cases are reported hospitalized.

Relative to that stat: 1,158 of those hospitalizations are currently in ICU beds in Arizona, that's 64% of ICU beds in the state.