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Rural hospitals overwhelmed in Southern Arizona

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Hospitals COVID-19

TUCSON (KVOA) - Border counties are asking the state to help rural hospitals and facilities care for their patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Arizona Border Counties Coalition is requesting help for rural hospitals and medical facilities transferring critically sick patients to bigger regional facilities.

According to the group, these rural facilities are overwhelmed and dealing with staffing shortages.

Supervisors from Pima, Yuma, Santa Cruz and Cochise counties sent a letter to the state about the issues these facilities are dealing with. In the letter, the supervisors said “Urgent, critical care transfers from the Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital have not been possible. The same exists for the Copper Queen Community Hospital in Bisbee,” the letter states. “The Douglas, Arizona, Clinic and the emergency room in Nogales, Arizona, Benson Hospital, and Northern Cochise Community Hospital in Willcox, are overwhelmed. The hospitals and emergency treatment facilities in Yuma County are having the same issues.

“As the Arizona Border Counties Coalition, we are requesting that the existing COVID-19 Surge Line be expanded to allow for non-COVID acute care patients," the letter continued.

The coalition is also asking for financial help for the rural hospitals and federal strike teams to deal with the staffing shortages.