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What's next for Arizona in COVID-19 battle?

Would Arizona Governor Doug Ducey go back on the ‘dimmer switch’ if things get worse
Posted at 10:35 PM, May 19, 2020

Would Arizona Governor Doug Ducey go back on what he calls the "dimmer switch" if things were to get worse now that the stay at home order has ended?

On Monday, a spokesperson said in a statement, “Arizona has capacity and is prepared. We're going to continue to focus on slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting our most vulnerable. We'll continue making decisions that are aligned with the data and recommendations from CDC and public health officials.”

Then on Tuesday, ABC15 asked a similar question and asked about a new projection that states that Arizona could lead to dozens more deaths the 2nd of July.

In a statement, a spokesperson said, “We will continue to track the facts and data and follow the guidance of the CDC and public health officials as we make our decisions.”

On Monday, the University of Washington updated their model that shows dozens more deaths the second week of July.

However, ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer said it appears they may have changed how they’re modeling by adding social mobility data. “I think at this point it’s too early to be apprehensive that we’re going to get to 100 deaths a day.”

Arizona is still nearly last per capita for testing in the country, even with adding the Arizona Testing Blitz on the weekends.< /span>

The goal was to test 10,000 to 20,000 Arizonans every Saturday for three weeks, according to officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services.

However, the first weekend, the state did 5,400 tests and the second Saturday just below that goal with 9,700.

The state has announced they are extending the texting blitz for additional weekends.

Arizona’s former public health director Will Humble said he would like to see a concise plan for testing vulnerable populations. “To me rather than extending the Saturday testing for another couple weeks, which I understand that they made that commitment, hopefully that’s not using testing capacity that could have been used in assisted living, skilled nursing, and correctional institutions.”

Arizona modeling experts say it will take about three weeks until we know the impact of the governor’s decision to reopen.

On Tuesday, ABC15 reached out ADHS about lack of testing, and a lack of contact tracing as there is no clear plan. Late in the afternoon, they put out a press release on the lack of testing and the lack of contact tracing.< /span>

According to the release, the state has received a $150 million grant from the CDC to go towards several critical aspects including more testing and contact tracing.

The state also putting in the current testing numbers as of Tuesday, saying:

ADHS and healthcare partners from around the state have expanded both diagnostic and serology testing. To date, 220,612 people have been tested in Arizona with 161,571 diagnostic tests and 59,041 serology tests. Diagnostic tests determine if a person is currently infected with the disease, and serology tests may indicate someone was previously infected with the disease. The Department is working with local public health departments to expand contact tracing, which helps to identify close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 so they can self-isolate and prevent the spread of the disease to others.