ARIZONA, USA — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.
Arizona hospitals passed a grim milestone Thursday morning. There is no indication more grim milestones won't be made in the coming weeks.
The latest data from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) showed that the state had the least amount of hospital beds open than at any other time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 96% of the state's ICU and inpatient beds are in use, with COVID-19 patients using 40% and 32% respectively.
The data comes as Arizona enters its first days of flu season, which historically runs between December and February. Flu season is when hospitals usually see most of their ICU and inpatient beds taken up, and that's without the added strain of COVID-19 patients.
Hospital authorities in the state told 12 News last year that having a bed capacity above 90% isn't normal, even during flu season.
Arizona's worst COVID-19 case spike happened between December 2020 and February 2021, ADHS data shows. Cases this holiday season have shown no signs of decreasing.
The state's top health leaders held a press conference two weeks ago pleading for members of the public to listen to science.
“Fifty percent of our patients in the ICU on ventilators today are COVID-positive," said Banner Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marjorie Bessel. "If we didn’t have those patients, we would have more than enough room for all of the other patients we are talking about that need us today.”
Coronavirus in Arizona
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