Open is not Over: Arizona COVID-19 Cases Increasing

Governor Ducey ended the Stay-at-Home order on May 15th. However, the reopening of Arizona businesses and the relaxed regulations for COVID-19 within the state have been followed by a substantial spike in cases. While it is not possible to definitively link the two, it is clear that more testing is not the only reason for these increases. In fact, the testing blitzes in Arizona have ceased. The Kaiser Family Foundation has collected data on the United State’s testing efforts and ranked the 50 states in their responses. Arizona ranks 43rd out of 50 for testing, with roughly 46.4 tests with results per 1000 residents. With this limited number of administered tests, the true number of cases in Arizona is likely much higher than what is reported.

The graph below shows the case counts of COVID-19 daily, since May 15. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are similarly demonstrating increases. Note that surveillance data will naturally have peaks and valleys due to reporting frequency and the nature of batching reports and laboratory testing. It should also be noted that Dr. Christ announced on Thursday (6/11/2020) that they will not consider closing down the state again. This means it is absolutely imperative for each individual and household member to adhere as closely as possible to physical distancing guidelines, wearing a mask, teleworking if at all possible, and minimizing large group activities. We are a community and now, more than ever, we must act together to protect each other. Emergency plans have already been activated statewide for the hospitals. For regularly updated case numbers please visit this link and click on “Confirmed COVID-19 Cases by day.”

A quick note on the World Health Organization (WHO) messaging about asymptomatic transmission this week. It is critical to note that people who are not showing symptoms CAN indeed transmit disease. Masking should be universal, regardless of symptoms. More on this in next week’s update. 

As the risk for COVID-19 increases within Arizona, it is especially important to take safety precautions to protect yourself and your friends and family during this time. Use the links below to find information on…

Safety precautions to continue practicing
How to find alternatives for common cleaning supplies
COVID-19 testing
Household plan for COVID-19 Checklist

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