/ Modified nov 28, 2020 9:39 p.m.

University researchers recommend 3-week shutdown, mask order

UA COVID Modeling Team warn of potential disaster from current surge

360 mask sign polling place A sign notifies people masks are required in order to enter a polling site set up at Tucson's Temple Emanu-El on the day of Arizona's primary election, August 4, 2020.
John DeSoto/AZPM Staff

Members of the COVID Modeling Team at the University of Arizona say the current surge in the coronavirus outbreak will present Arizona with a hospital crisis that could become a disaster unless the state takes steps such as ordering a three-week stay-home shutdown and implementing a statewide mask mandate.

The university researchers said not taking such steps, would be like facing a major forest fire without evacuation orders. The team has tracked the outbreak since last spring and made its recommendations in a letter Friday to the state Department of Health Services.

The department said it is on “high alert" and closely monitoring the situation. Arizona on Saturday reported 4,136 additional known COVID-19 cases and 36 more deaths.

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