COVID19 Update 8-7-20
Some good news this week. The number of new COVID-19 cases here in Arizona is now averaging almost a thousand a day fewer than last week. We are now seeing about 1600 new cases daily, down from approximately 2400 a day last week. Deaths are averaging around 55 a day over the past 7 days.
Unfortunately, 10.8%, or just over 1 out of every 10 people tested for COVID-19 here in Pima County have the virus. This percentage is important since it is being used to determine when students may return to in-class instruction. The recommendation from the state has 3 main criteria, one of which is not to return to in-class instruction until the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests is below 7% for two weeks in a row. Since we are nowhere near that number, the school districts in Pima County have started classes this week with online instruction. My 16-year-old daughter and teacher wife hate it.
You may see some students back on school campuses on August 17, yet this will mainly be for students who are unable to do online instruction at home. There will not be any in-class instruction, and these students will be kept with the same small group all day. It is hoped that keeping the schools closed for now will slow down the spread of new cases.
There are now several options for free COVID-19 testing here in Pima County. The county health department has now established 3 separate permanent testing sites and is also having several one-day testing sites at various locations throughout the county. You do need to make an appointment for a test. The permanent sites are at Kino Event Center, Udall Park, and Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center. The Flowing Wells site is doing a saliva collection, while the other two sites are doing nasal swabs. According to the health department, results are supposed to be available within 2-3 days. Unfortunately, we are unable to do this type of screening in the office since we can not obtain enough personal protective equipment. You may go online at www.pima.gov/covid19testing or call 1-800-369-3584 to make an appointment.
Finally, with regards to treatments, there are no new discoveries or developments to share this week. Vaccine trials continue, and one or two additional vaccines have shown promise.
Take care and have a good week.
Jeffrey Mayer, MD