Expert weighs in as more COVID-19 cases are reported in Arizona, weeks after stay-at-home order expired

Newly released numbers show there is an increase in the number of newly infected COVID-19 patients in Arizona.

Currently, new COVID-19 cases are at a record high, and ICU hospitalizations are also at an all-time high. Testings are also at an all-time high. None of it surprises health expert Will Humble.

"What we see in the data is pretty predictable," said Humble, who was the director of the Arizona Department of Public Health.

Humble says the two-week lag time points right back to the expiration of the stay-at-home order.

"I'd expect to continue to see an increase in cases compared to where we were in the middle of May, because we are not using the same intervention, the-stay-at-home order, the distancing, and people are getting back to work," said Humble.

The lack of social distancing at protests following the death of George Floyd is pretty obvious, and are not playing into the numbers just yet. Humble, however, seems to think that the gatherings are not considered super spreader events.

"I look at the clubs as a bigger deal," said Humble. "Number one, it’s indoors as opposed to outdoors. Number two, if certain clubs are getting away with it, do you know there’s hundreds, maybe even thousands of places that are just going to say, ‘well I missing out on all this dough. I could be making money.'"

While the data analysis continues to search for a pattern, it’s been clear from the get-go there’s only one finite end to all of this

"Ultimately, the vaccine is the real answer," said Humble.

Officials with Maricopa County released a statement Tuesday on the increase.

"The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County grew by 615 from yesterday’s report. This refers to how many were reported to Public Health yesterday, not how many cases there were in the last 24 hours. We are seeing some indicators that cases in Maricopa County are starting to rise beyond the increase from additional testing."

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

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.

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.

MAP: Worldwide interactive Coronavirus case data

MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code


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