ARIZONA NEWS

Dr. Christ links Arizona’s record COVID numbers to Thanksgiving gatherings

Dec 9, 2020, 11:29 AM | Updated: 11:48 am

People travel through New York's LaGuardia Airport on December 03, 2020 in New York City. Despite a...

People travel through New York's LaGuardia Airport on December 03, 2020 in New York City. Despite a recent rise in airline travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, the airline industry is still experiencing a historic drop in traffic and profits due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – This week’s record coronavirus case numbers in Arizona are a sign of the post-Thanksgiving surge experts warned about, Dr. Cara Christ, the state’s health director, said Wednesday.

The Arizona Department of Health Services, the agency Christ oversees, reported a daily high of 12,314 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The state’s seven-day rolling average for newly reported cases has reached a record high each of the last six days.

Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that Tuesday reports are expected to be on the high side as labs catch up on weekend test documentation, but not to the extent seen this week.

“Honestly, it’s likely the first signs of the outcome of Thanksgiving,” she said. “So we’re about 10 days out. That’s when we would anticipate to see an increase in cases.”

Health experts such as Christ warned about holiday gatherings with people from different households, but that didn’t stop air travel from hitting its highest level since the start of the pandemic over Thanksgiving weekend.

Christ lauded Arizonans for taking precautions such as wearing face masks in public around strangers, but she said too many have been letting their guards down around people they know but don’t live with.

“What people need to realize is that when you take your mask off and you get into close proximity of somebody, you’re not only in close proximity of them, but you’re in close proximity to all of the people that they’ve been in close proximity with,” she said.

“And you may not know all of those people, and they may not be taking the same precautions. So really, if you don’t live with somebody, you should be masked up and staying physically distant to make sure that you don’t you don’t catch the COVID-19.”

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Dr. Christ links Arizona’s record COVID numbers to Thanksgiving gatherings