ARIZONA NEWS

10 Arizona counties, including Maricopa, have high COVID-19 community levels

Jul 16, 2022, 5:45 AM
(File Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
(File Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(File Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Ten of Arizona’s 15 counties now have high COVID-19 community levels, the state’s health department said Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest update lists the following counties as having high COVID-19 community levels: Maricopa, Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma.

Maricopa, Mohave, Coconino, Gila, Pima and Cochise counties moved from medium to high in the past month, while Apache and Navajo counties already had high COVID-19 community levels.

Health officials recommend masks for public indoor settings where community levels of the virus are high, which is determined by COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past week and the disease’s impact on the health care system.

Don Herrington, interim director with the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in a press release that the omicron subvariant BA.5 of the virus “accounts for a rapidly growing share of sequenced COVID-19 cases in Arizona.”

“Evidence suggests this subvariant is better at eluding immune protection offered by vaccination or previous infection,” Herrington said in the release. “In addition, immunity may begin to wane over the months after the last infection or vaccination.”

Herrington recommends people keep their vaccine protection up to date as data in May suggested unvaccinated individuals were eight times more likely to be hospitalized and 21 times more likely to die from the virus than those who received both shots and a booster.

People can find vaccine providers on the department of health’s website.

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10 Arizona counties, including Maricopa, have high COVID-19 community levels