Reopening of St. Luke’s Medical Center for Possible Overflow

State of Arizona Office of the Governor

Governor Doug Ducey announced the reopening of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Phoenix with 339 ICU high-acuity beds, with flexibility for other uses if needed. The additional beds were secured with the help of the Arizona Department of Health Services, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Arizona health care leaders and will serve as overflow capacity for hospitals statewide, if necessary.

“Arizona is taking proactive measures to increase hospital capacity and secure resources for health care professionals. This is a statewide plan and Arizona will be prepared,” said Governor Ducey. “Our hope is that we never have to use these beds — and that our physical distancing measures, travel restrictions, limitations on elective surgeries and other protective actions will mean fewer infections and less strain on our health care system. But, we are prepared for what may come next. My thanks to the health care professionals, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and everyone working to protect public health and support others.”

Today’s announcements coincide with Arizona’s efforts to coordinate closely with medical providers and understand the state’s needs for ICU beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment for health care personnel. As part of a statewide plan, Arizona is also finalizing an assessment of options to add additional hospital bed capacity in Pima and Coconino Counties and other parts of the state, if needed.

“We are grateful to the teams at Saint Luke’s Medical Center and others for partnering with us to increase Arizona’s hospital bed capacity statewide,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “It’s partnerships like these that are helping Arizona prepare and stay proactive.”

Saint Luke’s Medical Center previously shut its doors due to low patient demand in November 2019. But with a peak in Arizona’s COVID-19 hospitalizations projected to occur in the coming weeks, the hospital was selected as a location to set up additional ICU beds with assistance from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.

Governor Doug Ducey today issued an Executive Order to help boost medical staffing levels and provide certainty and liability protections to health care professionals serving on the front lines.

For more information about Arizona’s COVID-19 response efforts, click HERE.

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