Arizona's top doctor asks snowbirds to quarantine as COVID-19 cases rise

At the same time COVID-19 cases rise in Arizona, the Valley will also be getting ready to swell in size as snowbirds flood the state.

The state's top doctor, Dr. Cara Christ, Director or the Department of Health Services (AZDHS), recommends all snowbirds stay inside for 14 days before heading out and about in Arizona.

Arizona's perfect winter weather is no secret as snowbirds flood the Valley from across the country and Canada, even with COVID-19 on the rise.

In a post on the AZDHS website, Christ writes, “If you are staying with us for the winter, it’s a good idea to stay at your winter home for the first 14 days in Arizona before venturing out into the public ..."

Her predecessor and current Arizona Public Health Association leader, Will Humble, says it may not be a realistic request.

"As a general rule of thumb, that would be a good idea. How practical it is, is another matter," Humble said.

If you have family and friends coming from out of state, talk to them about getting a test to cut the quarantine short, Humble suggested.

Other states have made the quarantine mandatory, with daily check-ins for travelers, like in New York.

"You’re talking about states that have had long term and sustained investment in public health infrastructure so they have options that are available to them that we don’t have. I’m just going to put it out there," Humble said.

As the cases have gone up and up in recent weeks in Arizona, Humble says don’t blame the snowbirds' arrival. He points to the demographic breakdown of cases, saying most are young adults.

"People in their 20s are not snowbirds, it’s the young adults that are amplifying this virus the most," Humble explained.