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Arizona rural hospitals asking feds for COVID-19 staffing

A hospital staff member attends to a patient in a COVID-19 intensive care unit on Jan. 6, 2021, at a hospital in Los Angeles.
AP, file
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AFP via Getty Images
A hospital staff member attends to a patient in a COVID-19 intensive care unit on Jan. 6, 2021, at a hospital in Los Angeles.

The growing strain on Arizona hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients has prompted an urgent request for help from the federal government.

The state Department of Health Services received inquiries for additional staffing from seven hospitals earlier this month.

Documents the agency made available Thursday show the department ended up asking for 133 workers in total.

The hospitals are all in more rural areas in western and southern Arizona.

A department spokesman says the request is still under federal review.

Meanwhile, the state reported 2,911 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20 additional deaths.

Arizona has now seen over 1.3 million cases and more than 23,000 deaths since the pandemic started.