Covid update 6-19-20

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Today is Friday, June 19, 2020.

Last week when I sent this message out, Arizona had recorded approximately 1,600 new cases for the day. Today, we have set another new record with 3,246 new cases reported. With one big exception, we are now in the scenario that we hoped would be avoided back in March when the initial stay at home order was issued, namely the exponential or rapid increase in cases. Unfortunately, a notable increase in the death toll is soon to follow.

The big exception is the level of preparedness at the hospitals and also in the community. The hospitals are better equipped from both a supply situation and an experience level. Likewise, in the community we have a better understanding of how the disease is spread, and a better sense of what to worry about.

Overwhelmingly, the largest risk of spreading the virus is when people are close together in a room or other setting. When we talk, sing, cough or sneeze we are spreading bacteria, viruses and other organisms. In general, 6 feet is felt to be the distance at which the concentration of these particles is low enough so as not to cause infection. Wearing a mask, prevents or at least reduces the propulsion of these particles into the air, thus lowering the risk of transmitting an infection to someone else.

The largest number of cases in Arizona continue to be in the 20-44-year-old age group. However, the largest number of deaths is in the 65 and older age group.

Covid 19 is going to be around until we either have enough herd immunity or a vaccine to control it. Unfortunately, even with the number of cases being recorded we are most likely below 10% immunity in the population. We need 70% to be protective.

So, what needs to be done is for everyone to avoid large gatherings, especially those where people are not staying at least 6 feet apart and wearing masks. Even in smaller public settings, masks should be worn. No one wants to inadvertently be the cause of someone else’s illness or worse. I will do another update middle of next week when information and trends are clearer.

Take care.