COVID-19 cases in Arizona exceed 500,000

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona reached 504,423 on Monday, December 28, an increase of 10,086 compared to the previous day, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. There were already 172,481 new COVID-19 cases in Arizona in December, meaning that 34 percent of the total number of cases since the onset of the pandemic in December came alone.

The state has been slightly effective in fighting the virus over the past four months, but has shown great signs of regression. While July had an average increase of 3,075 new cases per day, Arizona averaged 877 new cases per day in August, averaging 552 new cases per day in September, but the number climbed again in October to an average of 903 new cases. cases per day, and Arizona averaged 2,600 new cases per day in November. So far, the state has an average of 6,160 new cases per day.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 cases in Arizona stands at 8,469 in Arizona after 42 new reported deaths since yesterday.

“The numbers are still moving in a worrying direction,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said, “especially considering that the number of holiday parties and gatherings is expected to increase over the next few weeks.”

This boom is the second in Arizona, which was a national hotspot for the disease this summer. Increasing cases were blamed for the fact that health protocols were suddenly lifted before the weekend of Memorial Day, when people gathered for parties and gatherings.

Health experts fear that the trend may now repeat itself as people travel and gather for the winter holidays, a threat that could exacerbate the usual flu season.

Dr. Daniel Derksen, co-vice president at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, said the vacation trips many people undertook over the weekend put the state in a serious situation regarding the number of hospital beds.

‘The cascading effect of what is currently happening not only affects the people who have these serious consequences of COVID-19 infection, but limits the ability of the health system to deal with all the other health problems that continue. occurs, together with the onset of the flu season. ”

Derksen said the “real tight time” for public health experts will be the next two to six weeks when holiday travel will increase again. But the results could be worse, and it will not only be felt in Arizona.

“It’s not just hospitals in Arizona that are reaching their saturation,” he said. “This is the whole region.”

Holly Ward, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, said it’s not uncommon to see an increase in hospitalizations in the state during the winter, but COVID-19 adds another layer to the dynamics.

“Usually in the winter months we see an increase in hospitalizations, but now that we’re adding COVID to this, we’re getting dangerously high in the bed use of the ICU (intensive care unit) that is happening now,” Ward said.

She said hospitals and healthcare facilities as a whole were always ready to admit any patient, regardless of the circumstances, but she encouraged people to do their part to prevent the “healthcare heroes” from becoming stressed.

“Hospitals are there to take care of everyone who comes to us,” she said. “But we also rely on our community to do their part not to stress the hospital system with a disease that most of us can prevent from spreading.”

Local governments across the state have begun implementing – or reintroducing – precautions to stop the spread of the virus as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Arizona.

In Payson, Mayor Tom Morrissey re-introduced an emergency proclamation requiring people to wear a face in the city until further notice. He said there was a ‘mutating factor’ with the fluidity of the spread of this virus.

Tucson City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to set a night time from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. that begins Friday. The curfew rule, which begins on Friday and lasts until December 22, will mean that only essential workers may be present during those hours.

The Tucson action was sparked by a memorandum from the University of Arizona’s COVID-19 modeling team that said Arizona, without action to stop its spread, was a catastrophe on the scale of this state’s worst natural disaster. have ever experienced, dare. ‘

Ward said the state learned a lot from the summer boom of the pandemic that could better prepare it for the current revival.

“After having a boom in the summer, we set up a very important protocol and readiness as a state-wide system,” she said. “We all have a responsibility, but we all have certainty about ourselves, or not the ability to help our family, friends and community do what we can to stop it.”

Derksen said that although effective COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon, it could take months before they are available to the general public, and that the challenge of delivering these doses alone will be a ‘logistical effort.’

He said the best thing anyone can do is to stick to the tried and tested preventative measures repeated throughout the year by healthcare professionals: wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands and avoid crowds.

“Help is on the way, but at the moment the best measures are the self-help measures you can do,” Derksen said. “You will be exposed if you are not careful.”

COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal to anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. ADHD advises everyone to take precautions:

The best ways to distribute COVID-19:

• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Wear a mask when you are close to other people.

• Avoid contact with your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and immediately throw the tissue in the bin.

• Clean and disinfect frequently affected objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are suspected to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and breathing problems. For people with a mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids and rest. For people with worse symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek health care.

ADHD activated its health emergency surgery center on January 27 after the first case of travel-related COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit online for more information on the COVID-19 response in Arizona.

Josh Ortega of Cronkite News contributed to this report.