What he thinks is a large driver of the increase in cases is not only pandemic fatigue, where people get more lax on efforts to curb the spread of the virus, but also small gatherings.
“It’s interesting, because even as the school starts to open up, what we’re seeing in the school is not really school spread,” he said, adding that there have been exceptions of cheerleading squads, football and volleyball teams. “It seems like kids in the classrooms are relatively safe and relatively well. The cases that are identified and associated with schools are not acquired at the schools.”
A look at the first day of in-person classes at Copper View Elementary School as Sahuarita Unified District begins reopening efforts, on Sept.…
Despite the increase, he said that he feels Pima County is in a better position both compared to the state and nationally. That’s likely in large part because the demographic that is getting sick here is less likely to be hospitalized or suffer severe illness.
“I think that that’s the reason this hasn’t translated into deaths — at least not yet. It doesn’t mean that it can’t,” he said.
Pima County had 118 cases per 100,000 people in the last week of October, while Arizona had nearly 131 cases per 100,000 people.
The counties in Arizona hit hardest in recent weeks have been rural ones. For example, Gila and Graham have had higher rates of COVID-19 cases, even though counties with higher populations, like Pima a Maricopa, have seen more cases.
Statewide, the percentage of general ward hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients has been increasing since September, Gerald pointed out in a report he published last week.