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Banner medical staff

The chief of Arizona largest hospital network said Wednesday that hospitalization from COVID-19 have plateaued in recent weeks, and that about one-quarter of all patients were hospitalized because of the novel coronavirus. Read more»

Dr. Marjorie Bessel during a Sept. 8 press conference.

The chief of Arizona's largest hospital network said that while hospitalizations have "stabilized," more than half of patients in the ICU have COVID-19, and she warned hospitals may face an increasing number of cases next month. Read more»

Dr. Marjorie Bessel during an August 3 press conference.

COVID-related hospitalizations, ICU admissions and ventilator use have increased in Arizona, the chief doctor for Banner Hospitals said, including more cases in children. "Please go get vaccinated; protect yourself from death," said Dr. Marjorie Bessel. Read more»

Dr. Marjorie Bessel during an Aug. 3 press conference.

The chief of Arizona's largest hospital network pressed her case for vaccinations and masks, warning Tuesday that hospitals have endured an "exponential" increase in COVID-19 since July 1, the use of ventilators has tripled, and more children are being hospitalized. Read more» 1

A man in Tucson gets his COVID-19 vaccination as part of a clinic.

Banner Health will require all of its 52,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, officials announced Tuesday. Read more»

Doctors and nurses at Banner University Medical Center's North Campus begin vaccinations on Dec. 17.

The chief medical officer at Banner Health, which operates 23 hospitals in Arizona, warned that COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase "at an exponential rate" and that the number of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients have nearly tripled since November 1. Read more»

Dr. Melissa Zukowski, the director of the emergency department at Banner's Tucson campus, holds her daughter Sophia Smallwood's hand as she gets one of the first vaccines for COVID-19 in Pima County at  Banner Health University Medical Center North.

A wince, a few tears, and a moment of relief: Medical staffers at Banner UMC received the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Pima County on Thursday morning. "I'm really excited," said the first nurse. "This is what gets us back to normal." Read more»

"Stay home as much as possible. Wear a mask. Take that seriously. Avoid any social gatherings — the holidays will come again; sit this one out." — Pima County health officials, hospital leaders and fire chiefs Read more»

Based on current trends, researchers at Arizona State University expect Arizona’s total number of COVID-19 cases to double by mid-July, if not sooner. Read more»

University Medical Center South began operating a COVID-19 screening area outside of the emergency department. On Monday, Banner Health will begin operating a drive-thru COVID-19 test at one facility in Tucson.

Banner Health is launching drive-thru COVID-19 testing for pre-screened patients on Monday at four sites in Arizona: three in Phoenix and one in Tucson. The tests are available by appointment only. Read more»

Emergency rooms like Banner UMC's are being flooded with people seeking "back-to-work" notes requested by employers, and they're not the "appropriate venue," the hospital firm said. Read more»

A teenaged boy runs from the border wall that separates the U.S. and Mexico in Nogales in 2017, just after illegally climbing over the wall from a ladder.

"The real border crisis is what hospitals near the southern border see every day. It manifests as broken bones, lost appendages, and severe dehydration. It is the thousands of people marooned in ICE detention centers. It is the families seeking asylum who are met with violence. It is the people who have vanished on both sides of the border." Read more»

Migrants wait in line for food at a Tucson motel, one of several rooms that serve as a temporary shelter operated by Catholic Community Services.

While cold rain fell Thursday night, around 130 people from Central America took shelter at a Tucson motel after federal immigration officials asked local community groups to take them in, rather than have them released on the street. Read more»

A hack of data held by Banner Health — the operator of the former University Medical Center in Tucson — has put information on about 3.7 million people at risk. The company is sending letters to patients, health plan members and beneficiaries, food and beverage customers and physicians and healthcare providers telling them of the data breach. Read more»

While the number of locally run hospitals is shrinking in Southern Arizona, five independent nonprofit medical facilities announced this week that they have formed the Southern Arizona Hospital Alliance to improve care and reduce costs. The group includes Tucson Medical Center and hospitals in Benson, Bisbee, Safford and Willcox. Read more»

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