No evidence suggests spread of virus will slow in high temperatures

Will the heat impact COVID-19?

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - There’s been no evidence in Tucson so far that the excessive summer heat has had an impact on the spread of the coronavirus.

It was thought early on in the pandemic that the spread may slow down when the summer months began to heat up as is the case with most seasonal viruses.

Although there does not appear to be enough history with the COVID-19 virus to know if it is seasonal or not.

But there is a great deal of watching and hoping going on.

“My definitive answer on how much the summer months are going to affect the virus is we’re just going to have to wait and see,” said Pima County Medical Director Bob England. “We just don’t yet.”

England believes the middle of June will give a pretty good indication whether the summer heat is having an impact, in part, because testing results are generally two weeks or so behind, making predictions difficult.

However, there are some developments which indicate the weather may not be having an impact.

In response to a question about what appears to be a spike in cases to Dr. Theresa Cullen, who will become the new Medical Director June 1st, by the Mayor of Tucson Regina Romero, Cullen said “we are aware there was a spike over the weekend, including hospitalizations.”

Some of those may be a cluster, but the details have not been released yet.

It has also not been determine whether it is related to the opening of businesses, restaurants and other venues in Arizona.

“If it looks like we’re not having a significant increase within a week or two from now, then the logical explanation is that the season is helping us out,” England said.

If that’s the case, the lull may give the county and others an opportunity to prepare for a possible second wave predicted for the fall.

“The good thing if it starts to go away in the summer months, that will give us more time to do research,” England said. “And maybe close to a vaccine by the time it comes back again.”

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