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New deadline to open St. Luke's Hospital is by end of May

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Posted at 3:57 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 22:00:20-04

PHOENIX — The deadline to open St. Luke's Hospital has passed, and it is still not operating as state leaders have requested additional modifications.

According to a spokesperson for Arizona Department of Health Services, they have requested six modifications to the former St. Luke's Hospital in Phoenix and will need to have it completed by June 1.

Those modifications to the Army Corps of Engineers include more electrical work to support higher acuity patients if needed, secure door access, and security throughout the building like key card access to certain areas of the hospital.

New modeling out of the University of Washington has shifted, showing Arizona may need more hospital capacity in mid-June as they predict a shortage of resources.

The IHME shows that by mid-June the state will need more than 300 ICU beds.

A spokesperson for the department said the state is using its own data now, and not relying on projections like they did in the past because we have more accurate data.

Former director of Arizona Department of Emergency Management and ABC15 analyst Wendy Smith-Reeve tells us that additional modifications mean more money, there's also the question of what will happen if it's needed.

"Who is going to staff the facility because it's great to have it, but if you can't staff it with all of the specialties that you need to run and operate the facility, then it doesn't do any good," she said.

The original deadline to open St. Luke's was the end of April.