Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order Monday implementing an Enhanced Surveillance Advisory that will accelerate tracking of COVID-19 cases and strengthen the ability of the Arizona Department of Health Services to respond to the outbreak.
According to a news release, the advisory requires hospitals and testing laboratories to report key metrics that will inform the state’s response to COVID-19.
“My team and I are committed to doing everything we can to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “The enhanced surveillance for COVID-19 information will improve our awareness of our hospital and surge capacity, allow us to get denominator data on commercial laboratory testing and collect laboratory specimens to do further analysis and sequencing.”
To better prepare for and respond to the spread of COVID-19, the advisory requires hospitals in Arizona to report daily statistics on staff resources, ventilator availability, intensive care unit bed availability, inpatient bed availability, personal protective equipment supply levels, medical supply levels as well as describe their current triage process.
The advisory also requires laboratories to report the results of all COVID-19 tests or a weekly aggregate number of total COVID-19 tests performed. In addition, it directs enhanced patient tracking, information sharing and coordination of specimen testing.
To coordinate additional testing for COVID-19, the advisory will also allow ADHS to designate other laboratories to assist it in testing specimens if necessary and at state expense. If requested by ADHS or local health authorities, public safety agencies may be requested to coordinate transportation of samples to laboratories for testing.