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Tucson hospital physician, Pima County Supervisor-elect begs people not to travel

A look inside the unit for COVID-19, coronavirus patients at Tucson Medical Center.
Posted at 4:01 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 20:29:04-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County only had a few Intensive Care Unit beds available Sunday night.

“Shot across the bow here, sending up a flare this isn’t good,” said hospital physician and Pima County Supervisor-Elect Dr. Matt Heinz.

Heinz spoke to KGUN 9 after a 12-hour overnight shift.

“It’s going to become more and more difficult for our healthcare system to do the work they do for our community and our patients that need us,” Heinz said.

Heinz is urging people not to travel for the holidays.

“How do you get onto the plane? You have to get very, very close to other humans, you have no control over their behavior, if they are washing their hands, or touching their faces,” he said.

The CDC recommends against holiday travel and gatherings outside your household. If you do chose to host or attend a small gathering, there are some CDC considerations that can make it safer:

People should wear masks, and the event should be held outside. Limit attendees to allow for six feet of space and seat people with physical distancing in mind. Avoid singing or shouting as that can propel droplets carrying the virus, and limit contact with shared items like serving utensils.

“You hear us saying again and again and again, use those masks, socially distance, do not travel for the holidays,”Heinz said.

Heinz says people should consider sacrificing holiday travel as a way to help those on the front lines of the pandemic.

“Every night I have to watch people in some cases dying, and we can stop this," Heinz said. "It is not a complaint, it's just the reality on the ground, and it is heartbreaking.”