COVID-19 Update: Hospitals stretching resources
COTTONWOOD — With several counties like Yavapai continuing to have high infection rates from COVID-19, doctors are looking for ways to further stretch resources.
More than 10% of Yavapai County’s tested population has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Yavapai’s current vaccination rate of 49.1% is ninth out of 15 counties. Since May 1, nearly 86% of the county’s COVID cases were unvaccinated people.
According to numbers released Monday, there have been 32,523 positive tests for COVID in Yavapai County during the past six months and 780 related deaths. Since Wednesday, there have been 510 reported cases and six deaths.
Also since Wednesday, Cottonwood has had 52 new cases diagnosed. Camp Verde added 24 cases, Sedona 20, Cornville 17, Clarkdale 10, Lake Montezuma/Rimrock five and Jerome zero.
The age group 55-74 was responsible for 29% of the additional cases in the past four days. There were 24 patients reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19 hospitalized at Verde Valley Medical Center.
Arizona’s overall case rate ranks 13th in the country.
Last week, the stretching of resources to treat seriously ill COVID patients while also treating others in need was a hot topic when Arizona’s interim director, Don Harrington, and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, an advisor to Gov. Doug Ducey, met with medical professionals from around the state.
Dr. Keith Frey of Dignity Health compared the medical community’s response to a rubber band that is reaching the limits of its ability to stretch, according to a resulting news release.
“Exhausted nurse, exhausted doctors,” Frey said. “Please help us help you so we can continue to be here for you. That’s what we’ve been called to do.”
Helping “non-COVID 19 patients” delay treatment could lead to later complications, according to Dr. Alyssa Chapital of Mayo Clinic Arizona.
“But we also are treating those COVID patients that have long lengths of stay and that are filling up our ICUs and they’re preventing us from taking care of all of the other patients that have needs,” Chapital said.
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