Covid19 update Sept 6, 2020

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Overall, there continues to be an improvement in the number of COVID cases here in Arizona. For the past 7 days, new cases are averaging under 600 a day and the number of deaths remains about 35 a day. Hospital admissions however are way down, and most significantly the number of patients in the intensive care units is the lowest it has been since early April. Both Pima and Maricopa counties have fulfilled the 3 criteria established to reopen schools, although many will remain closed until at least October. Of note though, we still have double the number of cases as compared to March and April when the initial stay at home order was issued by the governor.

Certain restrictions are being relaxed and several businesses that had been closed (such as movie theaters) are now reopening. There is worry that people will believe the threat is over and will resume the behaviors that led to the huge spike in cases in May and June. It is important to continue wearing a mask while around others in public as well as trying to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others. In addition, gatherings of more than 10 people still represent an increased risk.

It is probably ok to get a haircut or see the dentist now, yet you should check with them to see what they are doing to reduce the risk of infection. In general, they should be limiting the number of people in the space at any one time and should have an established routine for how they disinfect chairs and equipment in between visits.

There is a lot of speculation about when a vaccine may be available. So far, I have nothing to add to what I mentioned in my talk last week. I will keep you updated as information becomes available.

Finally, I want to wish everyone a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.
Take care and have a good week.
Jeffrey Mayer, MD