PHOENIX - The COVID-19 cases are hitting levels not seen since the spike over the summer, but county health officials say that's just the tip of the iceberg: the actual cases are much higher than reported cases.
With the Thanksgiving holiday, get-togethers are right around the corner.
According to Maricopa County, for every one case counted, three or four more actual coronavirus cases are out there. So there are many more people getting sick who never get tested.
The county alone is now recording an average of 1,500 each day. That would mean the actual number of county residents getting sick is closer to 5,000 per day. Having said that, the county says only 10.7% of residents are showing antibodies. Far short of the 50% to 80% suggested for herd immunity.
Reaching that number, they say, would mean many more people getting sick, along with more deaths, and a real strain on hospitals.
In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people not to travel for the holiday.
So until a vaccine arrives, safety is in each of our hands.
"All of the little decisions we make, whether we go out with a friend or connect to someone in person.. they all add up. Please think very hard about the situations. Were you going to be around other people and do what you can to minimize the risk to make the right decision for the people you trust to keep them safe,” said Marcy Flanagan, Executive Director, Maricopa County Dept. of Health.
- Maricopa County COVID-19 outbreak trends
- Increase in COVID-19 cases and what you can do
- Holiday season recommendations
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