A Santa Cruz County resident who required hospitalization for COVID-19 was put on a medical transport plane to Flagstaff last weekend due to an apparent bed space crunch at nearer facilities.

An ambulance crew from the Rio Rico Fire District picked up the confirmed COVID-19 patient on Saturday at Holy Cross Hospital for transport to a hospital offering higher-level care, according to RRFD Deputy Chief Richard Johnson. But instead of bringing the patient by ambulance to a facility in Pima or even Maricopa county, the crew took the person to the Nogales International Airport.

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