Gov. Ducey addresses rising number of coronavirus cases in Arizona during news conference

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and other state officials are holding a news conference to provide updates on the state's COVID-19 pandemic.

Data shows increase in COVID-19 cases

The news conference took place weeks after Arizona's stay-at-home order expired.

Since the order expired, data show an increase in the number of newly infected COVID-19 patients in Arizona, rising by nearly 70%. In addition, the death toll, as of Thursday, is just shy of 1,000.

“We stopped social distancing about two weeks ago, and it was anticipated that in 10 or 15 days that we might see a peek," said Dr. Frank Lovecchio.

"All these numbers are going in the wrong direction. It is hard to know what would happen. There’s not enough clear guidance," said State Rep. Kelli Butler (D).

In addition, the percentage of positive test results is also up, and the state's hospital bed capacity is nearing 90%.

"When they make it to the intensive care unit, it’s not always clear that they are going to make it out. In fact, it’s relatively uncommon that they make it out," said Dr. Lovecchio.

Governor, government health officials respond

"We’ve made the most responsive decisions possible. This virus is not going away," said Gov. Ducey, during the news conference on Thursday.

During the news conference, Dr. Cara Christ with the Arizona Department of Health Services says the government had expected an increase in cases and hospital metrics following the state's reopening. In addition, Dr. Christ said hospitals are seeing more non-COVID hospital use, as more people are feeling comfortable to seek medical care.

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Additional resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars (In Spanish/En Español)

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.