Arizona health officials announce plan to bring in 600 nurses to help hospitals

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Nearly 600 critical care nurses and medical-surgical nurses will be headed to Arizona to help provide support to hospitals seeing an increase in patients with COVID-19, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday.

ADHS has partnered with Vizient, Inc. to bring out-of-state nurses to Arizona. Hospitals that need the resources can receive them free of charge for up to six weeks to fill staffing gaps, ADHS said.

“Hospitals will be prioritized for staffing placement based on patients’ referrals through the Arizona Surge Line, or if they have the ability to manage more intensive care unit (ICU) or medical-surgical patients with increased staffing,” a news release said. “Staffing placement will be coordinated through the Arizona Surge Line based on an application completed by the hospital. To be eligible, hospitals must be operating in accordance with all Executive Orders, provide expedited onboarding and orientation, and have exhausted other existing avenues of increasing staffing.”

The move comes as coronavirus cases in the state continue to increase, as well as the number of patients in Arizona’s hospitals. Officials say there are currently more than 900 patients in intensive care units.

Earlier this week, the Governor’s Office announced that it has partnered with organizations to open two free surge testing sites in Maryvale and South Mountain Park. Testing would begin on Friday and would remain open for 12 days.

Each site will be able to conduct 2,500 tests per day and results of those tests would be expected within 24-48 hours of them arriving at the lab, a news release said.

People are encouraged to pre-register for an appointment via www.azdhs.gov/surgetesting. However, at the time of publication, registration details have not yet been posted on ADHS’ website.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ARIZONA

These statistics were last updated on July 16, 2020. Source: Arizona Department of Health Services*

Number of deaths: 2,492
Number of cases: 134,613
Number of total tested: 951,809 (at both private and state labs)

Community transmission: Widespread

Case locations by county:
Maricopa: 88,954
Pinal: 6,243
Coconino: 2,581
Pima: 12,697
Navajo: 4,598
Yavapai: 1,254
Apache: 2,658
Cochise: 1,140
Graham: 236
Santa Cruz: 2,251
Yuma: 8,949
Gila: 482
Greenlee: 40
Mohave: 2,108
La Paz: 422

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