COVID-19 case count remains high in Arizona, expert says we're getting close to herd immunity

Arizona recorded nearly 25,000 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 15, setting a record for the third day this week.

The virus is linked to more than 25,000 deaths in the state since the pandemic started.

On Jan. 14, more than 2,900 patients were battling the virus in hospitals across Arizona, and PCR test results show a 34% positivity rate.

As Arizona saw a huge spike in cases this week that may last through the month, but hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end to the public health emergency phase of the pandemic.

The omicron variant is just so contagious that many people that have evaded the virus for the last two years are now getting it, but according to the health officials, there is good news on the horizon.

"Basically omicron is finding every single previously uninfected person, and it's infecting them," said Will Humble, executive director of Arizona Public Health Association.

Arizona's COVID-19 case count is continuing to climb with the rapidly spreading omicron variant, which Humble says is nearly as contagious as the measles.

But the good news, he says, is that we are getting close to herd immunity, and he believes we're nearing the end of the pandemic.

"It's gonna get to a place in the next few weeks where the virus is just not going to be able to find a new host because so many people have gotten vaccinated or boosted. The people that previously didn't get infected, they're gonna get infected, they're getting infected right now."

Humble says this means we could transition from a pandemic to an endemic by the end of summer.

"We're coming up towards the end, but it's a crescendo moment really that we're having right now and the next few weeks. Most will recover, they'll be uncomfortable, a few will need hospitalization, some will die, but at the end, this virus is gonna exhaust all, well not all, but close to all of its susceptible hosts."

During these next few weeks when cases are still high, Humble does advise avoiding large crowds.

"But it's not something that's gonna go on forever and the reason I say that is this variant is compressing many months of infections into a few weeks."

If you are going out to those crowded areas in a few weeks, Humble does recommend wearing an N-95 mask.

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