/ Modified dec 29, 2020 3:21 p.m.

Burdened Arizona hospitals turn away ambulances, transfers

Demand is outpacing capacity

360 hospital trauma File image of equipment in a trauma room at a hospital in Tucson.
AZPM Staff

Arizona's largest hospital chain says some hospitals have stopped accepting patients brought to them by ambulance runs and transfers as they scramble to address a backlog of sick people amid a COVID-19 surge.

Banner Health said 10 hospitals late Monday were diverting ambulances and transfers to other medical facilities and six were still doing so early Tuesday.

Arizona has the second highest coronavirus infection rate in the nation. State officials announced Arizona will include people aged 75 and older in the second phase of vaccinations against COVID-19 in a move to keep hospitals from getting further overwhelmed.

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