UCHealth staff members travel to Ariz. to help out with surge in COVID cases

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — As the number of COVID cases continues to surge in Arizona, two staff members from UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital have traveled there to help out.

The two Coloradans are part of a 14-person federal disaster medical assistance team, and they are deployed to Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Show Low, Ariz., to help with staffing shortages.

Clinton Andersen, the emergency preparedness manager at University of Colorado Hospital is leading the group.

“The number of people who have gotten sick here in Arizona have left a number of hospital staff sick as well. So, that is our biggest point that we are trying to fill,” Andersen said.

Bethany Weeks is a registered nurse at University of Colorado Hospital, and a member of the team that traveled to Arizona.

“What we are seeing is patients that are here for a long time, have a long course of illness, and are needing a lot of intensive care,” Weeks said. 

She is working 12 hour days in the ICU, with no days off, caring for COVID patients.”They are very busy, a lot of very sick patients,” she said. 

Weeks and Andersen have a lot of experience working with large numbers of COVID patients.

“So we are able to take what we learned at University of Colorado Hospital, bring that back here,” Andersen said. 

As they see the surge that is happening in Arizona, Weeks has these words for Coloradans, “Keep wearing those masks!”  

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