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UArizona Researchers: COVID-19 is "mowing through Arizona like a sharpened scythe."

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Posted at 3:16 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 20:35:01-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Since the beginning of the pandemic, the University of Arizona's College of Public Health has been warning Arizonans about COVID-19 trends.

In the latest report, the University of Arizona's COVID-19 modeling team said the virus is "mowing through Arizona like a sharpened scythe."

Researcher Dr. Joe Gerald said Arizonans cannot fight the spread of COVID-19 alone.

He explained Arizona is reporting 100 deaths per day and said if no action is taken by the state those numbers could grow.

"That can go as high as [200] to 400 deaths per day in the next six to eight weeks. If we do nothing. You know, these are shockingly high numbers. COVID-19 is set to be at least the third leading cause of death in Arizona," said Dr. Gerald.

Data from the State that Dr. Gerald analyzes shows a 35 percent increase in COVID-19 cases and details hospitals are now relying less on moving patients around and more on triaging to get by.

"For someone to get in, you have to be severely ill right now and take the place of someone else who needs that care or wait for someone to die from COVID-19," he explained.

He said four to six weeks ago—that wasn’t the case.

"The situation is so dire in our current state and vaccine rollout is too slow to rescue us in this moment,” said Dr. Gerald.

Although his projection isn’t certain, he predicts that in a month from now the pandemic will be worse.

“I would expect COVID to be worse a month from now than it is today, perhaps twice as bad. There are dark days ahead, if we don't make changes in our policy," he said.

Dr.Gerald said seeing the alarming trends are disheartening and disappointing because Arizona has chosen to not do what’s necessary to protect itself.