Coronavirus cases are exploding in a number of U.S. states‚ in fact, “more than 47,000 coronavirus cases were announced across the United States on Tuesday,” reports the New York Times. “the most of any day of the pandemic. Officials in eight states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas—also announced single-day highs. Tuesday was the fourth time in a week that the United States posted a new single-day case record. The number of new cases in the United States has shot up by 80 percent in the past two weeks.”
And although some states have more cases overall because of their size (like California), one state has seen the most dramatic rise in cases over the past seven days: Arizona.
The Governor Took an About Face
Arizona has had 79,399 cases of coronavirus and 1,645 deaths. Hotspots in the state include Maricopa (with 48,710 cases and 771 deaths), Pima and Yuma counties. The past few days have seen more than 3,000 cases a day, a dramatic increase from under 1,000, or often under 500, just a month or two ago.
As a result, “in an about-face, Arizona’s Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered the state’s bars, gyms, movie theaters and water parks to shut down for at least 30 days amid thousands of new coronavirus cases in the state,” reports NPR. “Ducey issued the order Monday to go into effect from 8 p.m. local time, citing concern over a recent spike in new cases — including a one-day record of more than 3,800 in the state on Sunday. It was the seventh time in the past 10 days that new cases in Arizona exceeded 3,000. He also ordered public schools to delay the start of classes until Aug. 17.”
“Our expectation is that our numbers next week will be worse,” Ducey said, calling the state’s coronavirus data “brutal.” He went on to say: “Arizonans have been, by and large, terrific, fantastic and responsible,” but noted “the photos and videos of some of the things that were happening around our state this weekend, and the result of that (type of activity) has been an increase in the spread.” He was apparently referring to people at bars and nightclubs without face masks or social distancing.
“Arizona hit a high for hospitalizations on Tuesday, at 2,793, and its rolling seven-day average increased by 35 percent,” reports the Washington Post. “Public health experts said that while Ducey’s moves made sense, given that the state is inching closer to running out of intensive care beds, some said that they wished he had gone further and instituted a statewide mask-wearing mandate.”
Pence Scheduled to Visit Arizona
Notably, the outbreaks are happening in Republican-led states, aside from California. Vice President Mike Pence, of the Coronavirus Task Force, is scheduled to visit Arizona today. After months of not wearing a face mask in public, he has appeared in masks frequently this week, and encouraged Americans to wear them. Other Republicans are following suit. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday: “Put on a mask — it’s not complicated.” Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander called for President Trump to do so, too: “Unfortunately, this simple, lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says: If you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask. If you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander said. No matter your politics, wear your face mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently monitor your health, don’t leave home unless it’s essential and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.