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Arizona Governor addresses COVID surge, lays out holiday precautions

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All but two counties in Arizona have a positivity percentage above 10-percent, Yuma is at 15-percent. 

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA) - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey held a COVID-19 press conference Wednesday to acknowledge the rise in coronavirus cases throughout the state and layout guidelines for how to move forward amid the holidays. 

As of Wednesday, there were 283,102 recorded cases of COVID-19 in Arizona and 6,365 deaths. The state's top health official said all but two counties have a positivity percentage of more than 10-percent. During the COVID briefing, Gov. Ducey said getting back to normal "isn't in the cards right now". 

With travel being more than likely amid the holiday season Ducey announced that Tucson, Mesa, and Sky Harbor Phoenix International airports will have on-site testing for those traveling into the state. 

The state's health director, Cara Christ is also putting forth an emergency declaration to ensure all schools throughout the state are following mask mandates while in the classroom and on any busses. She also outlined safety measures for those gathering on Thanksgiving. 

"Moving your celebrations outside, reducing the size of your gathering, wearing a mask if you are around people who do not live with you staying physically distanced, washing your hands frequently, and celebrating virtually with family that is at high risk," Christ said. 

In efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus the Governor also announced $25 million dollars intended for medical professionals and additional safety measures throughout the state.  

When asked about Yuma sharing a border with California and Mexico, Gov. Ducey said rapid testing is key for those who cross the border or state lines every day. 

"You have many incredibly hard-working people that come back and forth, I know the industry has led on some of the testing and techniques there," Gov. Ducey said. "That's been where the pinnacle for concern has been, and if there have been additional steps that are needed we are ready to help solve those issues."

Gov. Ducey acknowledged that he is still working with the White House Coronavirus Taskforce to properly administer a vaccine to residents once it is ready for the public. And he is confident following the results of Pfizer and Moderna, two vaccine candidates that showed 95 percent effectiveness in its phase three evaluation.  

"We recommended that all Arizonans wear masks in all settings," Christ said.  

In Yuma County, there are 15,785 coronavirus cases and 368 deaths. The County's positivity rate is at 15-percent. 

Arizona News / Coronavirus / Video / Yuma County Coronavirus

Brandon Mejia

Brandon Mejia joins the news team as the evening anchor for KSWT. You can catch him weeknight at 6 and 10 p.m.

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