Hospital officials plead with public to avoid large Thanksgiving gatherings
PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - For the fourth time in less than a week, Arizona reported more than 4,000 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday. Now hospitals are pleading with the public to help stop the spread by avoiding large gatherings this holiday weekend.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) confirmed 4,544 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 306,868. Health officials also reported 51 more deaths. 6,515 Arizonans have now died since the start of the pandemic.
ADHS says the the average number of new cases has doubled in the past two weeks. Virus-related hospitalizations also continued to increase, reaching 2,084 as of Monday, including 474 patients in intensive care unit beds.
That has hospitals across the state preparing for the worst and appealing to the public to help stop the spread.
Banner Health forecasts it will hit 125% of licensed capacity by December 4th. Dr. Majorie Bessel, Banner's top doctor, says its facilities have enough drugs, beds, ventilators, and protective gear to care for patients. However, they don't have enough staff. Bessel says hospitals are now scrambling to hire more nurses and other trained to staff to help care for the anticipated influx of patients.
Banner's now joining the chorus of health officials, medical professionals, and elected leaders calling on people to avoid large Thanksgiving dinners to avoid spreading coronavirus to their loved ones and their community.