Arizona ER doctor says protests to reopen the state could spark a second wave of COVID-19

Kentucky saw its highest spike in COVID-19 cases Monday after at least two large protests where hundreds of people gathered calling for the governor to re-open business and end social distancing orders.

Those on the front lines in Arizona, the doctors and nurses, are now concerned that spike will soon happen here now that some protests are breaking out at the capitol.

RELATED: Protesters gather in Downtown Phoenix for 2nd protest against Arizona's stay-at-home order

“I think its very risky right know so I think it has to be discouraged,” says Dr. Frank LoVecchio, emergency room doctor at Valleywise Health.

He treats COVID-19 patients every day and says large gatherings are still unsafe. It’s very likely some people in the crowd have the virus and doesn’t know it because they’re not showing any symptoms, but they’re still contagious.

“If there’s 100 people gathering, based on what we know, 5 to 7 people will have it and spread it to other people there," LoVecchio explains.

He believes Arizona has already hit its peak, but Monday’s protest could result in another spike of COVID-19 cases.

“Give or take, we peaked on April 10th or 12th, that’s what we think," he explained, adding, "The fact that we’ve peaked, the models rely on us still practicing social distancing through June 1, all throughout May. That’s going to change if we go back to life as usual.”

According to data from the Maricopa County Public Health Department, the number of COVID-19 patients who've been hospitalized is starting to level off, which means what we are doing right appears to be working but we need to continue social distancing.

RELATED: LIVE Blog: Coronavirus in Arizona - Latest case numbers

LoVecchio says if social distancing restrictions were lifted right now, we could see another peak and there may not enough hospital beds open for everyone.

“We did not run out of ICU beds, we didn’t run out of hospital beds, and it looks like we hit our peak. One of the reasons for that, we didn’t allow ambulatory surgery or elective surgery. Once that revs up, those people will take up more hospital beds and we’d hate to see another peak where we can’t take care of you," LoVecchio explained.

We reached out to the Arizona Department of Health Services officials to confirm if the state did hit its peak but FOX 10 was declined an interview.