Officials with Northern Arizona Healthcare say they are seeing some encouraging numbers regarding COVID-19, but warn the fight against the virus is far from being over. However, there is some good news regarding the virus. Dr. John Mougin, Chief Quality Officer for Flagstaff Medical Center says “the rate of death and the ability to treat these patients effectively and the outcomes overall has improved tremendously.” He adds, “when we look at the cases that are admitted to the ICU, they are able to leave the hospital at a higher rate certainly from what we saw early on.” One thing that has been questioned quite a bit is what constitutes a “COVID-19 death.” Mougin says “if it’s a direct relation to the infection then we are classifying it as a COVID death.” He adds, “there may be an occasional patient who comes in with a traumatic injury and happens to be COVID positive, that doesn’t report any symptoms or any illness that didn’t contribute to their demise. We would then call that a death from the trauma, with COVID just being one of the other diagnosis.” Staff at Flagstaff Medical Center has not been immune to the virus. Of the over four-thousand employees with Northern Arizona Healthcare, 75 have tested positive for COVID-19, 16 of those caught the virus at work. Staffing is also a critical concern. Currently there are 23 “travelers” from out of state that are helping at both Flagstaff Medical and Verde Valley Medical centers. Since the virus began, FMC has had 70 deaths in the hospital from COVID-19, while Verde Valley Medical Center has seen 18.