We are committed to providing necessary medical care for all Arizonans. That includes those whose medically necessary surgeries have been delayed over the past few months due to COVID-19. We are performing hospital-based elective surgeries on a limited basis. As of February 8, we have expanded criteria further. All surgeries that have a predicted length of stay of no more than 2 nights in the ICU are now approved. There are no restrictions for length of stay for regular, in-patient beds following surgery. Hospitals can still make decisions locally regarding which elective surgeries they will proceed with based on local resources and capacity. We recommend that patients who are awaiting elective surgery connect with their surgeon’s office for details.
Banner Health has capacity for patients in need of monoclonal antibody treatment. If you test positive for COVID-19, talk to your primary care physician about antibody treatment. If you do not have a PCP, visit a Banner Urgent Care for a referral. This is available for those who test positive and are over the age of 65, or those who test positive and are over the age of 55 with health conditions, such as diabetes. This can be helpful to you even if you are in the early stages of COVID-19 or have mild symptoms. In fact, early treatment with monoclonal antibodies is recommended. Banner has this treatment available at several different sites if your physician determines that it is appropriate. For more information about monoclonal antibody treatment, visit www.bannerhealth.com/covid19.
Banner continues to utilize external contract labor to augment its employed staff. Contract extensions for these workers is determined based on capacity and staffing needs. Corporate team member redeployments are also ongoing.
Banner’s Arizona hospitals continue to have a no-visitor policy in place with few exceptions. Visitor restrictions are evaluated on a weekly basis and are determined based on COVID-19 positivity rate in the community. We understand the significant impact this has on patients and their families and will update our approach when community spread has lessened. To learn more about Banner’s visitor restrictions, visit www.bannerhealth.com/covid19.
Morgue census remains high and Banner continues to utilize its refrigerated trucks for expanded morgue capacity. Today only one of the trucks is in use, however, due to census fluctuation throughout the week, both may be in use at various times during the week.
The Banner PODs in Maricopa County have not received shipments of the Pfizer vaccine for the past two weeks. For this reason, we have paused appointment scheduling for first doses. We have appointments scheduled at our PODs through March, with supply estimated to last through February 17.