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COVID-19 media update for Banner Health in Arizona

State's largest health care system provides latest information

PHOENIX (Nov. 16, 2021) – Banner Health cares for roughly 44% of the COVID-19 patients in Arizona, which means that the trends seen on the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID dashboard closely align with what we are seeing in our hospitals.

We’ve experienced a significant increase in our COVID admissions over the past week. COVID and COVID suspected patients now account for more than 25% of all Banner inpatients. 

ICU utilization (COVID and non-COVID) across Banner hospitals remains very high over the past 14 weeks. Today is the highest ICU census we have seen in the past 8 months. We experienced a significant increase in COVID ICU admissions in the last 24 hours. COVID patients now account for over a third of all ICU patients in Banner’s Arizona hospitals.

Ventilator usage is high, and we have seen COVID vent utilization increasing since the beginning of this month. Nearly half of all ventilated patients at Banner hospitals in Arizona are COVID positive.

Emergency visits for COVID-like illness are still high and have not shown a downward trend over past 9 weeks.

Pediatric hospitalizations for COVID have increased in the past few days after being flat for over 8 weeks.

Eighty percent of Banner’s hospitalized COVID patients in Arizona are unvaccinated. 

Our health care heroes remain committed to saving as many lives as possible during this pandemic, but it is up to the community to also do its part.

Please get vaccinated as soon as possible. The vaccine is the most effective way to reduce your chances of severe illness and hospitalization. By getting vaccinated, you will ensure that hospital beds and staff remain available to treat all those in need of health care. The vaccine is currently available for ages 5 and up. In addition, many Arizonans are eligible for vaccine boosters. If you are eligible, you should receive a booster to enhance your immunity. Visit to find a COVID vaccine near you.

In addition to getting vaccinated, please keep these CDC tips in mind as you make your holiday plans for next week:

Those 2 years and older should wear a mask if you are in public indoor settings. This includes those who are vaccinated if you are located in a community with substantial to high transmission of the virus.
Outdoors is safer than indoors.
Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
If you are sick or have any symptoms that would suggest respiratory illness, don’t host or attend a gathering.
Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID or have had a close contact with someone who has COVID. If you test positive, follow public health guidance for isolation and contact your doctor to find out if you qualify for monoclonal antibody treatment.
If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, visit CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.

Special considerations:

People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a mask, until advised otherwise by their health care provider.
You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.

By working together, we can enjoy safer holidays, protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends and ensure that our health care system remains available to all those in need of care.

A Safe Place for Care

As one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the team at Banner Health is committed to ensuring all Banner locations are a safe place for care. Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health owns and operates 30 acute-care hospitals and an array of other services, including: Banner Imaging, Banner Telehealth and Banner Urgent Care. Team members are dedicated to protecting the health and safety of patients, be it a routine checkup, elective surgery or an urgent health service. Waiting room and employee workstation layouts maintain proper social distancing; screenings are conducted at hospital entrances to verify that all employees and visitors are well; and, all Banner physicians are equipped to visit patients remotely. Learn more about Banner's commitment to safety at

Banner Health COVID-19 Awareness COVID-19 Care Leadership

For further information contact us at: