Gov. Ducey expects coronavirus cases to increase for several more weeks
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday said that he expects the state’s coronavirus cases to increase during the next several weeks.
“We can’t be under any illusion that this virus is going to go away on its own,” Ducey said during a press conference.
“It will take several weeks for the mitigations that we have put in place and are putting in place to take effect, but they will take effect.”
In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Ducey announced on Monday a 30-day closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks in addition to delaying the reopening of Arizona schools until at least Aug. 17.
On June 17, Ducey announced he was giving local governments the authority to make wearing face masks in public mandatory. Many cities have enacted their own policies since then, and, except for specific exemptions, everybody in metro Phoenix is required to wear a face mask in public.
During a Monday morning meeting with the White House coronavirus task force, Ducey said Dr. Deborah Birx mentioned the U.S. and Arizona were experiencing a spreading of the virus that is different than in March and April.
This new spread is also affecting younger populations at a higher rate.
Ducey said that 22% of current coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Arizona are of individuals 20 to 44 years of age.
As of Monday morning, with 36,594 cases, those 20 to 44 years of age accounted for nearly 50% of the state’s 74,533 COVID-19 cases, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Although younger individuals are not considered to be within a high-risk category for COVID-19, Ducey noted that they can easily spread the virus to at-risk, elderly populations.
“If young people get it, oftentimes they are going to recover,” Ducey said.
“But they can also share it with mom or dad or grandma or grandfather, and that’s a message we need to amplify.”
Those 65 years of age and older currently account for 9,108 — or about 12% — of Arizona’s coronavirus cases.
Currently, Arizona has conducted more than 677,000 COVID-19 tests, including more than 500,000 diagnostic tests and more than 166,000 antibody tests.