What You Need to Know-Week of May 16th

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. Urgent Updates: COVID-19 Metrics

2. Quick Question: Can you get the BA.2 variant if you have already had an infection caused by the “original” Omicron?

3. Health & Wellness Tip: Square Breathing




1. Urgent Updates: COVID-19 Metrics


Updated as of: 05-16-2022

Weekly case, death, and hospitalization counts:

In the past week, there has been an average of:
Cases per day784
Deaths per day6
Compared to two weeks ago:
Cases per dayIncreased by 134%↗
Deaths per day Decreased by 59%↘
Hospitalizations per day Increased by 14%↗

For a breakdown of vaccination by Arizona counties, visit the CDC’s website.

For updated vaccine information and data in Arizona, visit this link and click on the “Vaccine Administration” icon.



2. Quick Question: Can you get the BA.2 variant if you have already had an infection caused by the “original” Omicron?


The BA.2 variant continues to be responsible for a large majority of the COVID-19 cases that are sequenced within Arizona. So, some are wondering whether a previous infection with BA.1 (the “original” Omicron variant) provides protection against the widely circulating BA.2 variant. From what we know right now, the answer to this question is: reinfection is still possible with Omicron, but is less likely. However, antibody levels are known to wane as time goes on, so more data is needed to determine whether the risk of reinfection increases over time.
A Denmark study looking at 2 million cases, found only 187 cases of reinfection – 47 of which were sequenced to be BA.2 cases. Further data suggests that unvaccinated individuals appear to be the most at risk for reinfection.


3. Health & Wellness Tip: Square Breathing


It is important to find moments in your week for self-care as they can be essential for stress reduction and management. One technique,  known as box breathing, or four-square breathing, helps slow down your breaths, strengthen your breathing muscles, and calm your mind. The pattern has four parts: breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4, hold for 4, then repeat. Follow the steps below:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet environment. You should have good posture, sitting up straight, to allow your lungs to completely fill and empty. 
  2. To start, exhale slowly through your mouth until you feel like you have emptied your lungs.
  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose while counting to four slowly in your head. Inflate your lower lungs first by sending air deep into your belly, then fill up your chest. You shouldn’t need to move your shoulders during this. 
  4. Hold your breath, with your lungs full of air, and count to four in your head again. 
  5. Exhale slowly through your mouth, start from your belly then move to your chest, to the count of four.
  6. Hold your breath without air in your lungs to the count of four again. 
  7. Repeat 4 times in one sitting, ideally a couple times each day. 

If you feel light headed, dizzy, or uncomfortable, you can always count faster or count to a different number. The purpose is simply to intentionally breathe slower than usual.  As you practice, you should find that it gets easier. Return to normal breathing for at least a few breaths before and take care when standing up.




If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of May 09 (English | Spanish)
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