As the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations continues to climb across Arizona, the state's hospital systems have begun to implement "surge plans," or plans for adding extra capacity to hospitals when more patients need to be treated.

"Dignity Health hospitals in Arizona, including Chandler Regional Medical Center, continue to see an increase in the overall number of patients currently receiving care at its facilities and have implement[ed] surge plans to accommodate [125%] capacity," per a statement from Dignity Health shared with Community Impact Newspaper.

The number of COVID-19-related inpatient hospitalizations was 3,356 as of July 6, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services, up 144 from the previous day. As of July 6, the number of ICU beds across the state in use by COVID-19 patients was 869, an increase of 30 from the previous day. As of July 6, there were 1,385 reported COVID-19 emergency department visits, up 79 from the previous day.

Across Chandler's six ZIP codes, there were 3,446 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on July 7, according to data from the state, up 128 newly reported cases from the previous day. That overall number of cases represents an increase of 44.85% across the city in the past seven days.

Dignity Health is not releasing specific numbers regarding hospital capacity; the release called the number "fluid" and stated that it "can change at any time."

"To accommodate a larger number of patients, our hospitals are following their surge preparation plans and are actively transitioning a number of care areas to create more COVID-19 cohort capacity," read the statement. "Our hospitals have been planning for a surge of COVID-19 patients since the pandemic initially spread to our community. Our plans are in place and constantly assessed to ensure that we rapidly respond to the specific needs of our patient population. We are prepared and committed to meet the needs of our community."