The Health Director for the state of Arizona tells hospitals to fully activate their emergency plans in response to surge in COVID cases.


Banner Health is Arizona’s most extensive hospital system.  They are also Arizona’s largest private employer.  In response to the COVID crisis, the company already furloughed approximately 3,oo0 employees, decreased executive’s salaries by 20 percent and created a one-time bonus pay for employees who provided direct care of COVID-19 patients during March, April, and May.

A statement released by the company yesterday informed the public they had reached capacity for ECMO treatments and was nearing capacity for their ICU beds.

Our ICUs are very busy caring for the sickest of the sick who are battling COVID-19. Since May 15, ventilated COVID-19 patients have quadrupled. Banner Health also recently reached capacity for patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. (2/3)

— Banner Health (@BannerHealth) June 8, 2020

The rate of new infections in Arizona has been climbing.  On Thursday, Governor Doug Ducey explained the number of new infections was related to increased testing.  He added the state was not in a crisis, as “field hospitals are available if regular hospitals run out of space.”  However, Cara Christ, the state’s health official, advised hospitals yesterday to fully activate their emergency services.  Arizona dissolved the stay at home order and, Governor Doug Ducey guided reopening on May 1 for businesses to open on May 4.  The Governor allowed sporting activities to resume on May 15 and racing on May 23 at 25% capacity.  Doctors in Arizona are not surprised about the spike of new cases in the state.

Arizona is home to many retirees, and approximately 17% of the residents are age 65 or older.  The number of COVD related deaths recently passed 1,000.  Arizona is a hot, dry state prompting the department of health to tweet about heat-related health concerns three times in June.  The hypothesis of decreased infections during warm weather suggested by some health care professionals, including CDC Director Robert Redfield, has been proven wrong. Many specialists believed warm weather was not going to decrease the rate of infections.  One of the specialists is epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford, who warned in April to not hope for a warm-weather slump.  I also urged my family and friends in mid-May to not to let their guard down due to improving weather conditions.  Unfortunately, pandemic fatigue has set in on most Americans and my post was not well received.

If you are among higher-risk individuals who’s personal plans have eased because you believe warm weather is a deterrent to the spread of COVID-19, I recommend you reconsider your beliefs. Even if you are a person who is not at an increased risk of death due to COVID infection, the long term effects of a COVID illness are still unknown.  Be wise and follow guidelines to prevent disease.  Be proactive and protect your health. Be prepared for future medical visits and become a member on

Updated 6/9/2020 at 9:40 am EST






Updated Local Reports of the COVID-19 impact from around the country 5/3/2020

Reports from around the country

Alabama Lawsuit with voting rules during the pandemic.

Alaska Governor gives an update on 5/1/2020, including the CARES Act funding plan submitted to the state legislature.

Arizona Governor tweets business guidance for reopening on May 4.

Arkansas Inside dining of restaurants begins May 11 with restrictions.

California Most new cases and deaths documented in Southern California where protestors demand lifting restrictions.

Colorado Governor states testing supplies ordered from South Korea not disclosed to the federal government over concerns of seizure.

Connecticut. Connecticut has more COVID documented deaths than the country of Switzerland.

Delaware 26-year-old becomes the youngest COVID related death in the state.

Florida South Florida hospital uses stem cells to improve the health of three seriously ill COVID patients.

Georgia Nearly 20% of the documented COVID infected have required hospitalization.

Hawaii Travelers to the islands will see changes, including no buffet-style luaus.

Idaho Nursing homes hit hard, staff without N-95 masks to protect one another.

Illinois confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise.

Indiana Nearly 900 cases of COVID found in a meat plant.

Iowa Current and former Governors disagree on states’ COVID response.

Kansas Second largest increase in cases.

Kentucky Nursing homes around the state had infection control problems before COVID-19.

Louisianna Two guards die of COVID-19 at immigration detention centers.

Maine When compared to rates in other states, Maine has lower infections and lower deaths.

Massachusetts 81 workers test positive at one store, shutting it down.

Maryland State asks the National Guard to protect testing kits so the federal government does not seize them.

Michigan Governor extends state of emergency through May 28 despite armed protestors demanding to reopen the state.

Minnesota Increased testing, increasing infections, and local hot spots.

Mississippi Governor announced Friday he is going to hold off on reopening the state.

Missouri State workers ask the Governor to do more to protect employees from the coronavirus.

Montana Governor wants 60,000 tests per month.

Nebraska Dakota county has one of the highest rates of confirmed infections per capita in the country.

Nevada State to extend unemployment benefits for additional 3 months.

New Hampshire State outlines reopening of businesses and defines capacity and other guidelines.

New Jersey The state has 1,623 COVID patients in critical or intensive care units. State joins six others to form purchasing consortium to buy PPE, coronavirus tests, ventilators and other medical equipment made locally and help prevent price gouging.

New Mexico Gallup hospitals overwhelmed and city on lockdown.

New York Court dismisses New York nurses case against Montefiore for COVID-19 protection

North Carolina General Assembly passed two COVID-19 response packages, approving over $1.5 billion of funding relief.

North Dakota Wind turbine plant closes temporarily in Grand Forks.

Ohio Governor changes requirement for everyone to wear face masks, extends emergency order to May 29.

Oklahoma Mayor of one city removes requirement of business requirement of employees to wear masks because of threats.

Oregon For the second time since March 29th, there were no deaths reported on Sunday.

Pennsylvania Doctor performs over 1600 free tests for residents who could not get them.

Puerto Rico Governor urges residents who are displaced from a recent earthquake to wear masks when the present to shelters.

Rhode Island 17 deaths on Saturday and over 300 new cases as the emergency order is set to end on May 8.

Samoa Governor extends state of emergency until June 1.

South Carolina Confirmed cases continue to climb, beaches and parks reopen.

South Dakota. No new COVID related deaths two days in a row.

Tennessee Governor’s Health Commissioner states that the probable or suspected deaths of COVID-19 are not being released to the public, only confirmed cases.

Texas and also this link COVID-19 problems in the prison system.

US Virgin Islands Premeir states wearing of masks will soon become law.

Utah The one day everything changed.

Vermont Department of Labor tells unemployed they must return to suitable work if called back by their employer or they will lose benefits.

Virginia 44 deaths reported on Sunday.

Washington Governor warns of increased infections as majority of King county residents are susceptible to the virus.

West Virginia Protests over federal government transferring prisoners from Washington DC into the state.

Wisconsin State tops its record of confirmed cases in 24 hours on May 1.

Wyoming COVID-19 virus, unemployment and Wyoming’s gender pay gap, which consistently ranks as one of the worst in the country, highlights unique struggles for women in the state.

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Updated 5/3/2020 at 6:00 pm EST