Nearly a month since Arizona’s stay-at =-home order expired, cases of COVID-19 have continued to climb, and resulting headlines from across the country warned that the state is experiencing a surge. For context, we got insight from Dr. Joe Gerald, a researcher at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, who has analyzed data released by the state. Gerald discussed what his findings suggest about the uptick in cases.
“Viral spread is moving faster. These effects are showing up in our hospitals and ICUs. And you know, I think it’s time to raise the alarm and say something very different is happening in Arizona and we need to respond to it urgently,” Gerald said.
According to Gerald, the state’s testing blitz earlier this month contributed to an initial rise in the number of cases reported. But despite testing rates leveling off in the past few weeks, cases continue to increase at a sharper rate.
“It’s gone up fairly quickly and so it seems to be different from a testing effect. This appears to be real and that community transmission is on the rise,” Gerald said. “A second wave is here. We never actually really fully recovered from the first one. We more or less hit the pause button.”