Could Arizona have a ‘humanitarian crisis’ on its hands by Christmas? One expert thinks so

Dr. Joe Gerald released his weekly epidemiology and hospital resources report and it shows concerning trends as the winter holidays approach

By Emily Powers and Josh Sanders | KPNX

COVID-19 cases in Arizona are growing at such a fast rate that the state’s healthcare systems will be overwhelmed by the end of the month, according to a report issues Sunday by a University of Arizona expert.

And that’s without taking into account a rise in cases due to Thanksgiving exposures.

Cases in Arizona are being diagnosed at a rate of at least 390 per 100,000 residents. If that trend is not slowed in the next one to two weeks, University of Arizona professor Joe Gerald says cases will overwhelm the ability to provide hospital care by the end of December. 

HIs report shows that hospital COVID-19 occupancy is increasing and is on a course to exceed peaks by mid-December and could completely overwhelm by the end of the month. With the flu season happening parallel to the current COVID crisis, hospitals could see strain into January and February.


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December 2020