Hospital chief of staff says they have less than 10 COVID patients, lowest since early 2020

More events are underway in Arizona as Phoenix hospitals are seeing the lowest level of COVID-19 patients since early 2020.
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 8:59 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - COVID-19 numbers have improved in the last month, and now we’re hitting new and much-anticipated hospital milestones too. It’s a relief to the exhausted hospital staff, and for the rest of us, it means it’s easier and safer to go to big events and festivals once again.

Sometimes a short tweet can say a thousand words. On Thursday, Dr. Sam Durrani tweeted in part, “at my primary hospital campus, we now have single digit covid patients.” “I honestly don’t remember when it was that low. I want to say like maybe end of the March of 2020 it was that low,” Durrani said.

He’s talking about Deer Valley Medical Center, which at one point had more than 100 COVID-19 patients. Now, they have less than 10. “Nurses are in much better shape, they’re better staffed, everybody is in a better mood, the care we’re able to deliver in the hospital is so much better,” he said.

Durrani said he believes the community has much more immunity now, making it safe for healthy people to attend big recent events like Innings Festival and the WM Phoenix Open. This is welcome news for David Tyda, who hosts local festivals like Pizza Festival, Taco Festival, and the upcoming French Fry Festival. They’ve had to cancel so many events since 2020, but now it’s the complete opposite. “What’s really great to see is it’s easier to sell a ticket because people are so excited to simply be out and about,” Tyda said.

Tyda said it’s benefiting their food trucks and vendors who are now making more money off the festivals, too - many who struggled with business during the pandemic.

Dr. Durrani said while all of this is exciting and a great sign of where we’re headed, the hospitals are still really busy due to a backlog of surgeries. “A lot of surgeries were postponed. We’re catching up and that will take months to catch up on,” Durrani said.

Durrani said we’ll likely still see seasonal spikes of COVID-19 but that’s to be expected. He does still urge immunocompromised people to take precautions.