ARIZONA NEWS

Every Arizona county now has low COVID-19 community level, CDC says

Mar 25, 2022, 9:35 AM

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)...

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

PHOENIX – Every county in Arizona has a COVID-19 community level of low for the first time since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance system last month.

The CDC updates the levels for each county in the U.S. every Thursday. Last week, Yuma and La Paz counties were medium while the rest of Arizona was low.

When the CDC debuted the community level system on Feb. 25, four Arizona counties — Coconino, Maricopa, Santa Cruz and Yavapai — were medium and the other 11 were high.

The Arizona Department of Health Services pandemic dashboard, which was updated Wednesday, showed weekly declines of 26% in new deaths, 11% in cases and 21% in the number of inpatients with COVID.

In addition, the state’s weekly percent positivity for diagnostic COVID testing was at 3% for the second straight week, the lowest level of the pandemic.

The CDC levels are based on thresholds set in three categories: new COVID cases, new COVID hospital admissions and percentage inpatient beds in use by patients with the virus.

A key element of CDC guidance is that it’s considered safe for healthy people to go without face masks in public indoor spaces where the community level is medium or low, but not where it’s still high.

The national community level map updated Thursday shows 91.1% of counties as low, 7.2% medium and 1.7% high. Twelve of the 53 counties classified as high are in Montana.

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Every Arizona county now has low COVID-19 community level, CDC says