We need your help’: Ariz. health leaders plead with the public to help reduce crush of COVID-19 patients

Dr. Richard Carmona/UArizona photo

By Stephanie Innes |Arizona Republic

Arizona health leaders on Tuesday pleaded with the public to get vaccinated as COVID-19 continues to deplete resources in hospitals across the state.

“After peaking in mid-August, cases are rising again, even before Thanksgiving get-togethers,” Arizona COVID-19 advisor and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona said during a noontime briefing with clinical leaders from several major hospitals and health systems in the state

“The stakes are high. We need our hospitals to be able to provide the care everyone needs. That is difficult to do when our emergency rooms, intensive care units and inpatient beds are dealing with a crush of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.”

Actions that the public can take, the health leaders said, include getting the COVID-19 vaccine; getting a booster if it’s six months or more since you’ve been fully vaccinated; getting a flu shot; wearing a mask whether you are vaccinated or not; and getting tested early for COVID-19 as you might be a candidate for monoclonal antibodies, which prevent hospitalization but require early intervention.

“While the initial protection offered by the COVID vaccines is excellent, it is now clear that this protection fades over time,” said Dr. Stephanie Jackson, senior vice president and chief clinical value officer for Scottsdale-based HonorHealth.

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