Skip to Content

Arizona hospitals seek federal help for Covid staffing, Ducey allots millions

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona is committing millions of dollars and asking the federal government for extra help as hospitals face a growing strain from rising COVID-19 caseloads and warn they are nearing their limits.

Gov. Doug Ducey earmarked another $35 million aimed at helping hospitals staff their existing beds and discharge patients more quickly. His administration also asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 133 people to bolster staffing at seven rural hospitals.

“These things come in waves. It seems like this wave is upon us and the state is going to be a partner with the system,” Ducey told reporters following an appearance in Tempe on Thursday.

The Republican governor, who has encouraged vaccines but resisted mandates for shots or masking, showed no sign he’s rethinking the approach.

“I’m confident our policies will meet this moment and will provide hospitals with the resources so they can care for the sick,” Ducey said.

Arizona typically sees its highest hospital demand in the winter as seasonal viruses such as the flu take root and the state’s population swells with winter visitors, many of whom are older with high medical needs.

Arizona’s larger hospital chains have already sounded the alarm this week about being overwhelmed. Leaders of Phoenix-based Banner Health and Valleywise Health say the volume of patients is at its highest since the pandemic started. The rise in hospitalizations is due to COVID-19 as well as people who delayed treatment for other issues needing crucial care.

Hospital executives warn that an overburdened health care system affects not just COVID-19 patients but anyone needing hospital care.

Of the $35.2 million Ducey committed to hospitals this week, $28 million will pay for extending staffing contracts due to expire before the end of the year, said Christina Corieri, a senior adviser to Ducey.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

AP News

Author Profile Photo

Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson is News 11’s Sports Director.

Contact Cole at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content