COVID-19 cases and hospital visits are increasing at an alarming rate in Pima County. Over the last three weeks, cases have been on the rise with just over 2000 cases reported from the first week of November. The number of hospital admissions for COVID-19 has also spiked, with 75 hospitalizations reported for last week. This is the highest one week total since the large spike in cases over the summer. The first week of November saw the same level of cases during the beginning weeks of June 2020.
“We are very concerned, especially with holidays like Thanksgiving upon us,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, Health Department Director. “This is starting to look like the beginning of the huge spike that we saw over the summer.”
The rate of hospitalizations locally, paired with the increase of cases both locally and nationwide, increases the potential for hospitals to become overwhelmed just as residents begin the holiday season with travel and gatherings. “We anticipated that we would see an increase after Halloween and the political events leading up to the elections. We cannot relax on taking steps as a community. We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of the disease before we see more increases in transmission,” said Cullen.
In today’s updated progress report, categories for “Cases Per Week,” “Percent Positivity,” and “COVID-19 Hospital Bed Capacity” all moved backwards from their previously improving states.
“We need people to take the extra steps that we know can help slow the spread of the virus,” said Cullen. “We will continue to struggle to keep people healthy and out of the hospital if we can’t get these numbers down.”
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone is reminded to:
- Wear a mask anytime you are around people who you don’t live with
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
- Maintain at least 6 feet of space from others
- Protect those at most risk of complications from the virus by limiting visits and other physical contact with family members who are elderly or have other health conditions
For more information about planning for the holidays safely visit www.pima.gov/healthyholidays and visit www.pima.gov/covid19 for information about COVID-19 data, testing, and other prevention tips.