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Arizona sees record-high increase in number of COVID-19 cases

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The FDA is working with U.S. government partners, including the CDC, and international partners to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Courtesy FDA.gov

Restaurants and bars are packed, school is over and summer break recently started. It couldn't have aligned any better. Gov. Doug Ducey recently lifted stay-at-home orders for Arizona on May 15, and nearly two weeks later, the state has seen a trend of rising cases of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, June 2, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported that there were 1,127 new cases, which is the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began. In total, the entire state of Arizona has 21,250 cases alongside 941 deaths, also as of June 2.

COVID-19 numbers as of June 2


Source: Arizona Department of Health Services

The nearly two-week delay primarily stems from two different reasons. First, the time between being exposed to the virus and showing symptoms, called the incubation period, is roughly one week. After being tested, results usually take a few more days to come out. In combination, the 10-14 day delay is what the state is seeing now after stay-at-home orders were lifted in mid-May.

"It's almost a perfect correlation," said Will Humble, the executive director for the Arizona Public Health Association. "This week, we'll most likely see cases from Memorial Day weekend."

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After large crowds were seen gathering around the valley during Memorial Day weekend, the 10-14 day delay would be expected to be the tail-end of this week. Currently, Maricopa County has been the hardest hit in Arizona with a total of 10,536 cases, as of June 2. 

COVID-19 cases by county, as of June 2


Source: Arizona Department of Health Services

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the Arizona Department of Health Services recently changed how they reflect total case and death counts.

"On our summary page, we will be breaking out confirmed and probable cases and deaths for COVID-19," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of Arizona Department of Health Services in a blog post on June 1. "Both confirmed and probable cases and deaths are included in our overall case and death count. It’s important to note that the classification of cases is a surveillance tool used to better understand the burden of disease in the community."

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With large crowds of people gathering throughout the state, whether it be for protesting or any other reason, the novel coronavirus has found a way to spread more easily after cases were on the decline before stay-at-home orders were lifted.


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (9/25)
944 31 3.3%
Total (8/4)
35,583 2,255 6.3%
Includes tests since August 4, 2020
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated September 25, 2020