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Pima County Director of Health: 'There's way too much COVID'

Pima County Director of Health: 'There's way too much COVID'
Posted at 8:21 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 02:33:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Dr. Theresa Cullen, the County’s Director of Health, says Pima County has a long road out of this pandemic. Although more than 65% of those eligible in the county are vaccinated, experts say that number isn't enough for herd immunity.

“Let’s talk about what do we think we need to have stability within the community and many people are now saying between 90-95% of people,” said Dr. Cullen.

But even that percentage of vaccinated population is a rough estimate.

“At one point we said 60%, then 70%, 75%, 80%, the bottom line is none of us know but what we have is inadequate," said Dr. Cullen. "It’s insufficient to stop the transmission.”

Cullen says vaccination numbers are very slowly increasing. Case rates plateaued at a high rate, putting a strain on local ICUs.

“We don’t see a fluctuation beyond twenty beds available," said Dr. Cullen. "So we do know that we have constraints on the hospital system that we are urging people to be attentive to.”

There are around 175 cases per 100,000 people in the county and more than 1,800 total cases from K-12 students.

“There’s way too much COVID in the community. COVID is resulting in increased hospitalizations, increased utilization of scarce resources, and a higher fatality than we’ve seen with other diseases,” said Dr. Cullen.