The purpose of the shutdown was, according to officials, to allow the hospitals to build patient capacity and slow the spread of the virus.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has tracked COVID-19 hospitalization data since early April, and in the days and weeks that followed, the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients admitted to a hospital soared—reaching a climax in July and slowly decreasing day-by-day. Of the 1,681,469 COVID-19 tests in Arizona, 10.3% have yielded positive results as of Oct. 23. This accounts for diagnostic test results, not antibody test results.
Hospital capacity is part of the state and federal governments "gating criteria" that allows a phased reopening.
The number of COVID-19 related inpatient hospitalizations was 815 as of Oct. 22, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The number of intensive care unit, or ICU, beds in use by COVID-19 patients grew after the state ended its stay-at-home order May 15 and peaked July 13 at 970. As of Oct. 22, the number of ICU beds across the state in use by COVID-19 patients was 172. That's an 82.27% decrease from the July 13 peak.
The state also tracks the number of positive or suspected COVID-19 cases seen in emergency rooms across the state. There were 815 COVID-19 emergency department visits reported on Oct. 22, a stark contrast to the peak which appears to have occurred July 7 with 2,008 visits reported, a 59.41% decrease.