Gov. Doug Ducey said during a press conference June 11 that the state has capacity to treat both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients in its hospitals even as hospitalizations continue to rise across the state.

"The idea was to reduce the number of new cases from one day to the next to help prevent the health care systems from being overwhelmed," Ducey said of the state's stay-at-home order which was issued March 30 and fully expired May 15. "... The fact that the worst-case scenario is not here today is positive news."

The press conference comes about a week after Banner Health held a press conference where officials stated that if the state's trends continue, the largest health agency in the state will need to deploy its "surge plan" to increase ICU capacity.

On June 11, Arizona hospital leaders from Banner Health, Dignity Health, Honor Health, Abrazo, Carondelet and Northern Arizona Healthcare released a joint statement stating that the hospitals have sufficient capacity and that "surge plans are in place" in Arizona.

"We are well prepared to manage an increase in patient volume," read the statement.

Ducey said the state is in a better position than it was in March in terms of the data it has on COVID-19.


"We know, to the bed, where we are in the state of Arizona," Ducey said.

However, Ducey said the state is seeing an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations. As of June 11, there were 31,264 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 1,127 known deaths and 3,531 confirmed hospitalizations. Testing has also increased, with more than 309,000 diagnostic tests now completed in Arizona. The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatient cases was 818 on May 25 and 1,291 June 10, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

"The increase of positive tests is not the direction we want to go. We want to go in the other direction," Ducey said.

Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, told Arizonans to continue to maintain social, physical distance and to wear masks when they cannot physically distance.


"We know that it's in the community and that we can't stop the spread," Christ said. "We can't stop living as well."

Ducey said the plan moving forward will be to continue the state's public health education campaign, continue to increase testing, maintain focus on cases and hospital capacity and continue the prioritization of high-risk settings, such as long-term care facilities and prisons.

"We want to of course reduce and eventually eliminate it," Ducey said. "Eventually there will be a cure, there isn't one today ... What we want to do is make sure anyone who gets sick has care inside a hospital and, of course, where possible where someone can avoid the contraction of COVID-19."