The state’s dashboard reported that 689 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized on Wednesday, up from 602 on Sunday, 643 on Monday and 669 on Tuesday. Arizona’s COVID-19 hospitalization counts generally ranged between 500 and 600 during most of May and June.
Public health officials have attributed recent increases in COVID-19 cases to several factors, including the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates Fourth of July gatherings, and 50% of people having at least one shot.
Will Humble, Former Director of the Arizona Department Health Services, says not enough people are vaccinated.
"There aren’t enough people in 20’s and 30’s vaccinated. It is as simple as that," said Humble.
Hospital officials concerned
Dr. Michael White from Valleywise Health says hospitals are concerned about the increase of COVID cases.
"Three weeks ago, we were down into the single digits of people hospitalized with COVID, and now, we are at 10 hovering around 10 and higher," said White.
The additional cases and seven deaths reported July 15 on the Arizona Department of Health Services’ coronavirus dashboard raised the state’s pandemic totals to 904,865 cases and 18,083 deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases increased over the past two weeks from 550 on June 29 to 795 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Doctors say while it is a concern, the rise in cases will most likely will not lead to the scale of last winter and summer, due to having additional resources.
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"I think we will see the increase in cases up to 2,000 cases per day in Arizona in the coming weeks," said Dr. White.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Monitor your health daily
Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.