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Arizona public health official: ‘Pandemic not done with us’

PHOENIX (AP) — Some COVID-19 metrics show the pandemic’s fall surge in Arizona worsening again.

The state on Wednesday reported over 3,000 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases for the sixth time in seven days as virus-related hospitalizations topped 2,000 for the first time since mid-September.

And every county in the state has substantial or high COVID-19 transmission, the Department of Health Services said on Twitter.

“The unfortunate truth, however, is the pandemic isn’t done with us,′ said Don Herrington, the department’s acting director. “Recent case numbers bear this out.”

Case numbers dropped steadily starting in mid-August before starting to rise again in October in the state’s two most populous counties — Maricopa and Pima — and several rural counties, Herrington said in a blog post Tuesday.

“It isn’t clear why this is happening,” though possible factors include the start of cooler temperatures and continued dominance of the highly contagious delta variant, Herrington said.

What is clear, Herrington said, is that people should get vaccinated, wear masks in public indoor places, socially distance, stay home if sick and get tested if they have symptoms or are exposed to a person with COVID-19.

The additional 3,794 cases and 39 deaths reported by the department’s coronavirus dashboard raised the state’s pandemic totals to 1,199,277 cases and 21,525 deaths.

The 2,026 COVID-19 patients occupying inpatient beds as of Tuesday were the most since 2,034 on Sept. 16, according to the dashboard.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks, increasing from 1,828 on Oct. 25 to nearly 3,340 on Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths dropping slight during the same period, slipping from 48.3 to 47.1.

The Associated Press

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Jenny Day

You can catch Jenny Day anchoring KYMA News 11 at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. weekdays.

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