Less than 10% of ICU beds available in Arizona, 152 medical personnel sent in to help

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jul 03, 2020

PHOENIX — A new record broken on Friday as less than 10% of licensed ICU beds are available across Arizona. New data from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows that there are 156 licensed ICU beds in the state, but experts warn that does not necessarily mean staffed beds.

Earlier this week, the state requested medical workers from the federal government, and as of now, 62 medical professionals are on the ground in Pima and Yuma counties.

This includes personnel in emergency medicine like ER doctors, medics, and other needed technicians to help hospitals.

“Just having an empty bed is not good enough, unfortunately,” said Dr. Frank Lovecchio with ValleyWise Health.

Major General Michael McGuire said 90 more medical professionals will arrive this weekend and will be used in six different hospitals in Maricopa, Pima, Yuma, and Navajo counties.

Arizona’s department of emergency management has a warehouse filled with supplies that can move into field hospitals if or when they’re needed. Those types of requests start at the local level —first the hospitals, to the county public health level, the state if needed, and then the federal government.

“Right now our incident commanders are telling us that we have ample capacity and ample equipment, capacity being beds, equipment being things like ventilators, drugs those types of things, where we’re short is staffing," said Maj. General McGuire.

Along with the 152 already contracted by the federal government, the state is working on another contract for up to another 500 medical workers.

As Arizona heads into the holiday weekend for the 4th of July, Major General McGuire wants to remind everyone we are all together.

The National Guard has an acronym they use to help stop the spread of COVID-19 titled Get The F.A.C.T.S.

“We have a great team, team Arizona can overcome this with a whole of government, whole community of response, but we're all in this together,” said Major General McGuire.