Nearly 1,500 new Arizona COVID-19 cases reported; attributed to 'pre-pandemic' behavior

The Arizona Department of Health Services has reported 1,438 additional cases of coronavirus and two more known deaths.

That increases the statewide death toll to 1,044 and the case total to 26,889 as of June 7.

FOX 10 asked the Arizona Public Health Association if a return to lockdown is possible since cases have been increasing.

"The reason for the increased number of cases is not because of the increased testing," said AZPHA director Will Humble. "It’s because there’s more community spread."

With nearly 1500 new cases overnight, Humble says people started acting differently once the stay-at-home order expired on May 15.

"This is a phenomena that’s happening in Arizona," said Humble. "The stay-at-home order lifted and people’s behavior changed on a dime and went back to ... pre-pandemic behavior."

The Department of Health Services says while more hospital beds are in use, they changed how they report data and revealed more beds are now available than it seemed before.

Sunday marks the third consecutive day of more than 1,000 new infections reported.

Health officials had reported 1,578 new COVID-10 cases on Friday — by far the highest daily count since the outbreak began in March — and 1,119 more cases Saturday.

Earlier this week, Governor Doug Ducey said the increase in cases was not unexpected, yet not a trend that merited imposing restrictions.

Humble says there are a few wasy to slow the rise in cases:

  • Require face masks in public
  • Allow local leaders to make decisions for their specific needs, instead of on the state level
  • Make targeted interventions in nursing homes, where most of the deadly cases have come from

"If we were to start using those now, we might be able to prevent us from going back into a more vicious lockdown order like we experienced in April," said Humble.

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.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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