Arizona officials hold COVID briefing on hospital capacity approaching holidays

ADHS presser
Posted at 11:19 AM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 15:56:16-05

Arizona on Tuesday reported over 3,000 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 120 more deaths amid growing concern about the pandemic’s current surge and its impact on the state’s hospital system.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s COVID-19 adviser and hospital leaders scheduled a briefing Tuesday afternoon on “how Arizonans can help preserve hospital capacity during the holiday season.”

Virus-related hospitalizations continue to climb, with over 2,500 COVID-19 patients occupying inpatient rooms as of Monday.

That’s about half the number of virus hospitalizations during the peak of last winter’s surge but there is currently little available capacity statewide because many hospitals are also caring for large numbers of non-COVID patients.


Health officials are asking anyone who decides to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday to take precautions, including getting a COVID test before and after your travel.

Embry Health manages more than a hundred testing sites around Arizona. Officials told ABC15 they've been testing about 12,000 people a day this week which is a small uptick compared to previous weeks.

“And especially when talking to patients, they’re looking to get tested because they’re about to get on a flight," said Raymon Embry, the company's CEO.

"They’re going home to visit grandma and they want to ensure they’re negative before going home for the holidays," he added.