600 out-of-state nurses coming to Arizona to support hospitals

The Arizona Department of Health Services says it is partnering with Vizient, Inc. to bring nearly 600 out-of-state nurses to Arizona to support expanded capacity in hospitals amid COVID-19.

“ADHS is committed to supporting our hospital partners and frontline healthcare workers,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “Our frontline healthcare workers and hospital staff have worked tirelessly to care for Arizonans and we are so appreciative of their efforts. We’ve prioritized providing these staffing resources to fill critical resource gaps in hospitals and ensure they can continue to provide excellent care across the state.”

Arizona announces plans for coronavirus testing surge

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will test up to 5,000 people per day beginning Friday in South Phoenix and in Maryvale on the city’s west side. Both are areas where people have reported hours-long waits in the scorching heat for tests. The surge in testing is scheduled to last 12 days.

DHS also says hospitals may receive the additional resources free of charge for up to six weeks. Placement of the incoming nurses at Valley hospitals will be prioritized based on patients' referrals through the Arizona Surge Line.

In order to be eligible for the additional staff, DHS says hospitals must be operating in accordance with Governor Doug Ducey's executive orders, provide expedited onboarding and orientation, and have exhausted all other options to increase staffing.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily

MAP: Worldwide interactive Coronavirus case data

MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code

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CDC: How coronavirus spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

Arizona COVID-19 resources, FAQ: azdhs.gov/coronavirus

On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.

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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

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