TUCSON, Ariz. — Health officials and healthcare providers locally and statewide say the situation isn't dire...yet.
"The transmission in the community is increasing," Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said.
"We are definitely seeing a surge again in our COVID cases," Judy Rich, CEO and President of Tucson Medical Center, said.
"Our most significantly impacted age group is our 20 to 44-year-olds," Christ said.
Dr. Christ said that group should be most careful when they're out in public.
Locally, TMC said the situation isn't ideal but remains optimistic.
"I actually am not quite as pessimistic as thinking we're going to go back to where we were in July," Rich said.
"We're still having people die from disease but not the way in the early months," she added.
In Pima County, the number of cases trended up toward the end of October.
Of the nine benchmarks set by the County Health Department to track progress containing the virus, only four are currently being met.
The numbers are rising but health officials and healthcare providers said they're more prepared now than they were earlier this year.
"There's a lot of new strategies that we have that weren't in place back in June and July," Christ said.
TMC Chief of Medical Staff, Dr. Cliff Martin, said they have enough personal protective equipment than before and COVID patients are getting treated quicker.
"We definitely have much more capacity from an operational standpoint to deal with those issues."
Another provider, Banner Health, said they aren't at capacity yet but if trends continue as they are, they could pass the number of patients served at the height of the pandemic in the summer.
The advice remains the same: wash your hands, keep your distance and get a flu shot, if anything dr. Christ said, to keep hospitals from overcrowding.
"It's really important to preserve that capacity for people that need it."