Thursday, July 9, 2020

Highest positivity rate in nation suggests that COVID-19 is overwhelming Arizona

Last night (July 8), Desperate measures in Arizona as COVID–19 overwhelms hospitals was the headline for one segment of The Rachel Maddow Show.

Dr. Theresa Cullen, public health director for Pima County, Arizona, talks with Rachel Maddow about the shocking rate of increase in new cases in her county and the mitigation measures being taken given limited options and scarce hospital bed space.

We learned that Arizona is now the highest of all states in the percentage of positive cases (“Positivity”) - a shocking 26.83%.

I’ve ben tracking positivity and testing statistics for Pima County since May. During the second week of June, the average positivity was 6.8%. That average jumped to 16.7% during the first week of July.

If the number of tests were the only factor determining the number of cases, the Pima rates should be constant. Over and above testing effects, I think, the 10-point difference is indicative of increasing spread of the disease.

Any way you cut it, these data are very bad news.

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