Two years into a pandemic that initially saw one COVID-19 case a week in the state, now sees thousands per day - 13 On Your Side's Luis Lopez reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Arizona is currently seeing record numbers of COVID-19 cases. Not somewhere we thought we would be two years ago.
Many, like Yuma Regional Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, Dr, Bharat Magu, are surprised cases are high once again.
“I think we were not expecting a repeat surge at this level,” Dr. Magu said.
On January 26th, 2020, Arizona saw its first positive COVID-19 case, in a student from Arizona State University. Months later on March 11th, Governor Doug Ducey would declare a state of emergency.
Days later on March 21, Yuma County would see its first case, a marine stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. When Ducey declared the state of emergency, Arizona was averaging one case a week, according to CovidActNow.org.
The state is now averaging 19-thousand cases a week, some of the highest numbers since the pandemic began. With those numbers, Dr. Magu says the virus still poses a real threat.
“We have not gone down to a stage where we can say this pandemic is over,” Dr. Magu said.
One Yuma resident, Kris Yeoumans, thinks Arizona has done a decent job handling COVID. However, she’s frustrated with the current numbers.
“I just think we’re dropping the ball in not requiring masking in places we’re in the same situation we were a year ago at this time because we got lax, we got complacent,” Yeoumans said.
Vaccination rates are also increasing. Over 70% of Arizonans have gotten at least one dose, with over 25,000 given out Thursday.