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This Week in COVID: Masks Work, Phoenix Reopens Park Services


It is Tuesday, September 13. Over 226,000 Arizonans have contracted COVID-19 and greater than 5,750 have died from it. This is what’s occurred within the final week:

New instances have ticked again up barely. Arizona’s huge drop in case numbers from the July peak seems to lastly be at an finish. The typical variety of each day instances statewide has flattened out and seems to be growing. Present numbers are again to the place we have been on the finish of August with a mean of 711 new cases each day.

That enhance is mirrored in hospital mattress utilization. In an indication that the rise in optimistic exams isn’t just a results of extra testing, the variety of individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 has reached 667, round the place it was at the start of September. Intensive Care Items statewide are still only about 70 percent full, with round 9 p.c of whole capability being utilized by COVID-19 sufferers.

Specialists have warned that we’ll begin to see a rise in instances as flu season approaches and snowbirds return to the state. Arizona’s R quantity, the speed at which the virus is spreading, is greater than one, that means that the speed of unfold is growing. At present, each 100 individuals with COVID-19 infect a further 103 individuals, in keeping with the metric.

This Week in COVID: Masks Work, Phoenix Reopens Park FacilitiesEXPAND

The COVID Monitoring Mission

Mask mandates are answerable for ending COVID-19’s summer time rampage in Arizona, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention discovered. A report credited the imposition of mandates masking 85 p.c of the state’s inhabitants for flattening the curve of an infection that peaked in July and resulting in a drop in instances that enhanced the effectiveness of different mitigation measures, resembling bar closures. The mandates got here after Governor Doug Ducey, who had beforehand prohibited native jurisdictions from implementing such measures, flip-flopped in response to stress from native mayors and the rising demise toll.

The Phoenix Metropolis Council voted to reopen out of doors park services. It will apply to loos, ramadas and different out of doors options town had beforehand closed as a result of COVID-19. Mayor Kate Gallego famous that Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated being open air is safer with regard to COVID-19. The council will take a look at reopening some indoor metropolis services in two weeks, relying on how case numbers look. The town council is consulting with a College of Arizona epidemiologist on numerous issues, together with approval of a haunted home.

The town additionally spent $307,000 of COVID-19 reduction cash on erecting posts and chains to displace homeless people. The expense was found by a panorama structure class. A neighborhood service supplier says the transfer scattered individuals throughout town.

Arizona State College President Michael Crow despatched a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors final Wednesday asking them to remain sturdy on the county’s masks requirement. Crow identified that the mandate has solely been in place for 90 days and stated that, in addition to addressing the well being impacts of COVID-19, carrying masks is a measure that protects the native financial system. Whereas the Supervisors have made no public announcement about motion on the measure, they’ve met privately to seek the advice of on the mandate with authorized and public well being consultants. The town of Scottsdale repealed its mask mandate, however no precise change resulted as a result of the county’s order stays in impact.

ASU at present has eight recognized instances of COVID-19 amongst employees and 121 among the many scholar physique. Twenty-eight of these instances are on the Tempe campus and 87 are off-campus. Round half a p.c of the exams performed by the college by way of its random testing program are coming again optimistic, though that number excludes students who seek out testing. General, simply wanting 2,000 instances have been related to the college.

The College of Arizona is down a mean of 4 new instances a day. Again in its peak in mid-September, the college was averaging 181 new instances a day. With the drop in instances, it’s shifting ahead with having some lessons meet in-person on campus this week.

Arizona’s universities have gotten some nationwide media consideration for his or her COVID-19 response. The Wall Road Journal spoke with group assistants, ASU’s model of resident advisers, who described being on the front lines of the school’s COVID-19 outbreak. The Atlantic did a deep dive on U of A’s reopening.

A state consultant from Avondale who was placed on a ventilator for COVID-19 is recovering. Lorenzo Sierra’s spouse tweeted that he was off the ventilator and the feeding tube had been eliminated. The consultant tweeted over the weekend that he’ll now must relearn find out how to eat and stroll. Sierra and his spouse contracted the virus whereas visiting household in Washington D.C.

Talking of D.C., regardless of the president’s present COVID-19 case, members of his disease-ridden interior circle proceed to fly to Arizona. Ivanka Trump held two events in Phoenix yesterday. Current at one was Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, who contracted COVID-19 at one of his campaign events after refusing to implement COVID-19 restrictions.