GR US

Arizona Sees New Highs in COVID-19 Ventilator, ICU Bed Use

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this Friday, July 10, 2020 file photo, lab technicians work with COVID-19 testing sample at the UT Health RGV Clinical Lab on the UTRGV campus in Edinburg, Texas. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

PHOENIX — Arizona is reporting all-time highs in coronavirus patients using ventilators and occupying beds in intensive-care units.

The state Department of Health Services said 671 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators and 936 were in intensive care as of Sunday. Hospitals were hovering around 90% capacity as the state ranks first in the U.S. for new per capita cases over the past two weeks.

The state became one of the nation’s coronavirus hot spots in May after Gov. Doug Ducey relaxed stay-at-home orders and other restrictions. Last week, the Republican governor closed gyms and bars and capped restaurants at half of their capacity but declined to shut down indoor dining entirely or issue a statewide mandate on masks.

Ducey said the state will increase testing, with a focus on low-income areas of Phoenix as many people report difficulty finding tests.

The state also is paying for a private lab to greatly increase its daily capacity as people have experienced waits of up to a week or more for test results.