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Two employees with Northern Arizona Healthcare test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 19:35:13-04

Two employees in northern Arizona tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday according to the CEO of one of the major healthcare providers.

Flo Spyrow, CEO of Northern Arizona Healthcare, said in a video press conference on Thursday that two employees tested positive that morning.

The need for personal protective equipment for healthcare workers is one of the greatest needs still in the northern part of Arizona, like much of the country.

One of the hospital providers said they are finding ways to reuse PPE, including sanitizing N95 masks with a type of hydrogen peroxide, when the time comes to reuse them.

The hospitals up north that include Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Sedona and other providers tell ABC15 that they are all working to increase their bed capacity by 50% by the governor's executive order deadline of April 24.

Some, have already added some beds and will have more by the deadline.

The northern part of the state has had an influx of patients being sent from the Navajo Nation.

Doctors say they are receiving more and more patients a day, and the number is not going down.

At this time, hospital capacity is fine, according to the different hospitals, but the need for critical care patients is rising.

There is also a concern for the supply of ventilators in Arizona, as the state could run out. We asked healthcare providers who will and will not get one if they run out.

"We're dealing with those difficult questions right now, about what is that we do if it comes to that," said Derek Feuquay, Chief Medical Officer at Flagstaff Medical Center. "We have not made those decisions yet, and like I said we're all praying we don't have to make those decisions but I will tell you if it comes to that this facility and Cottonwood will be prepared to do what we have to do and be prepared to do the right thing for our patients in our community."

The Navajo Nation continues to be the hardest-hit area, as they have reported another 40 cases.

The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 is at 214 and seven deaths.

If the Navajo Nation was a state or territory, it would rank #11 for cases in the United States.