Saturday, December 12, 2020

AZ leads nation in COVID-19 spread

Arizona’s rate of COVID–19 spread is now the nation’s highest reports Howard Fischer via the Daily Star. As Arizona logs highest rate of COVID–19 spread in nation, Gov. Doug Ducey won’t close any businesses because the problem is mostly family and private gatherings, a spokesman says.

It isn’t just the benchmarks set by Ducey and the health department that show a substantial risk of spread in Arizona.

A separate state-by-state analysis looks at what researchers call the "R-naught‘’ number, essentially an indicator of how fast the virus is growing. Anything above 1.0 shows spread.

On Thursday, Arizona hit 1.22. That’s not only the highest in the nation but the highest for Arizona since the middle of May, before Ducey ordered many businesses to close their doors.

Yavapai, Apache and Navajo counties all have two consecutive weeks where all three indicators of viral spread have gone into the "red zone,‘’ shows new data Thursday from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Other counties are potentially just a week away from hitting the same levels as the three rural counties.

The benchmarks established by the governor and his health chief set up a system designed to show the risk level based on two weeks’ worth of data. That is designed to keep an unusual spike from throwing a county into a different category.

Pima County currently has all three categories in the substantial range. But only the case rate and percent positivity have been above the threshold for two weeks; a second week of COVID–19 hospital visits will put it in the same category.

… Ducey press aide C.J. Karamargin said evidence shows the spike is coming not from businesses that the state can control, but instead from things the state cannot, like family gatherings.

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