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Ducey urges more caution as Arizona cases rise: ‘You are safer at home’

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey urged Arizonans to take more caution Thursday as coronavirus cases continue to rise throughout the state.

The Republican governor doubled down on his call to wear a mask in public, urged Arizonans to stay at home and to limit social gatherings.

“At the last press conference, I said that our numbers were going in the wrong direction and they continue to go in the wrong direction,” Ducey said. “The rate of the spread of this virus is unacceptable and it is time for us to step up our actions and our personal responsibilities regarding this virus.”

The state’s reported cases have been rising at a faster rate than testing has increased in recent weeks, prompting government officials to implement new policies, including face masks and restaurant operations.

Ducey stopped short Thursday of offering any additional formal action that would help slow the spread of the virus in Arizona, which had 63,030 reported COVID-19 cases as of Thursday morning.

Ducey said he expected case numbers across the state to continue to worsen the next two weeks.

Arizona is still in its first wave of handling the coronavirus and isn’t in a position for another shutdown, according to the governor.

“There’s no magical decision or golden government action that will stop this virus. It is among us,” Ducey said. “It is widespread and it is growing. That’s why I am talking about the idea of saving lives and protecting livelihoods.”

The Arizona health department reported 3,056 new coronavirus cases and 27 additional deaths Thursday morning.

As of Thursday’s report, 10,561 PCR tests collected since Sunday had been processed, with 20% coming back positive. If that rate holds up, it would pass last week’s pandemic high of 18%.

“You are safer at home,” Ducey said. “Arizonans are safer at home and you can stay healthy at home.”

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