PHOENIX — Banner Health says coronavirus is spreading at its fastest rate since early summer and we could see an even higher number of patients if trends continue.
"This past month in Arizona we have seen gradual increases in case counts, hospitalizations, ICU beds in use and ventilators in use," a portion of an online update from Banner Health posted Wednesday reads.
The health group announced that currently, Banner Health hospitals have "adequate capacity" for patients (COVID-19 and otherwise), but they have also started to reopen respiratory units that closed after surges in June and July.
They are also utilizing predictive modeling tools to determine if and when contract staffing vendors will need to step in to provide care to coronavirus patients.
While testing options and protective equipment supplies are also in good shape at this time, Banner Health says trends are "concerning" and "we could meet or exceed the number of COVID-19 patients that we saw during Arizona’s surge in June and July."
Banner says the uptick in cases and hospitalizations could strain hospital resources as health care centers treat a higher number of non-coronavirus patients each winter due to other respiratory illnesses.