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FEMA to help AZ as hospitals gear up for holiday surge

St. Joseph's Hospital
Posted at 6:01 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 22:59:52-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Tuesday, the federal government announced that they would be sending resources to Arizona to help hospitals.

Canyon Vista Medical Center in Sierra Vista will be receiving help, but it hasn't arrived yet.

Three other hospitals in our area requested help but will not be receiving anything yet. Those hospitals are:

  • Copper Queen Community Hospital Bisbee
  • Copper Queen Community Hospital Douglas
  • Northern Cochise Community Hospital

This comes as the omicron variant continues to spread across our the state. ICU beds are filling up. Right now, there are 79 ICU beds available across the entire state.

"We're already strained, and the surge is going get worse," Michael Gallagher, the Administrative Supervisor St. Joseph's Hospital said. "We just ask that people remember that we are still here; we are just as tired as everybody else. We're not going anywhere we're committed but to patient and please understand."

The hospital is preparing for more COVID-19 patients as people gather for the holidays.

"You know these patients are going to be here longer, they're going to be sicker, they are going to use more resources," Gallagher said.

Gallagher, like many healthcare workers, has been on the frontlines of the pandemic since it began. As many gather

"We were hailed heroes, we were appreciated, we were praised," Gallagher said. "I think for the general public to remember that we are still here. We're still fighting this, for them, for everybody and to be patient with us."