PHOENIX – Arizona health officials reported at a press conference on Wednesday 401 cases of COVID-19 and a total of six deaths in Arizona as of Wednesday, March 25. Officials expect the illness to peak in April, with hospitalizations peaking in May.
It was when Arizona Health Service Director Dr. Cara Christ said Arizona is still in the opening stages of its COVID-19 outbreak and officials expect the number of cases to increase “significantly,” that the media became unhinged.
Arizona could need 13,000 more hospital beds and 1,500 more ICU beds based on current #COVID19 trajectory, @drcarachrist says. That’s on top of current 16,000 beds and 1,500 beds. Expects illness to peak in April, hospitalizations to peak in May.
— Maria Polletta🌵 (@mpolletta) March 25, 2020
— T.J. Shope (@TJShopeforAZ) March 26, 2020
Christ then followed-up with a series of tweets offering reassurances and explanations:
As public health officials, we have a responsibility to prepare for the worst-case scenario. It’s the only way to plan for a pandemic. 2/9
Unlike other states, we have time to prepare, and in the meantime, we have a responsibility to bring additional hospital beds online, find the supplies needed and identify enough ventilators. 3/9
The numbers provided earlier today assume nothing is done to mitigate the spread between now and then. We’re hoping all the things we’re doing now will mitigate the spread. 4/9
We’re making AZ projections using national & international models for the spread of #COVID19, including those from China, United Kingdom and Harvard. 5/9
This is a dynamic and ever-changing situation, and we will be working to gather the best data & make decisions on a real-time basis that will save lives and slow the spread of coronavirus in order to avoid a worst-case scenario. 6/9
The Enhanced Surveillance Advisory issued by @dougducey will provide additional data to assess the health of our healthcare system. 7/9
The primary focus of this projection is to better prepare for the impact on our healthcare system and anticipate resource needs. 8/9
While we expect these timelines and numbers to change, #publichealth is working to increase our healthcare capacity and protect Arizonans from #COVID19. 9/9
#HAPPENINGNOW: ADHS Director, @drcarachrist is discussing the importance of Arizona's hospitals and staff as the front line of the #COVID19 response. Building capacity in our healthcare system is critical in Arizona’s success in overcoming COVID-19. https://t.co/bKq7aUbvT9 pic.twitter.com/ZvJn5jVqir
— AZ Dept. of Health (@AZDHS) March 25, 2020