Pima County Health Director on holiday weekend: “We really are encouraging people to stay home.”

Pima County Health Director on holiday weekend: “We really are encouraging people to stay home.”
It’s a Fourth of July weekend like no other. Now, a lot of people who normally go big this holiday will now do it ‘pandemic style.' (Source: WVIR)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, Pima County’s top health official wants you to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

As of July 3, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 4,433 new COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to more than 91,850.

9,024 of those cases were reported in Pima County. Remember, this is a running total and does include people who have recovered.

Track COVID-19 cases by zip code by clicking HERE.

“We really are encouraging people to stay home, but if you don’t stay home, please don’t go anywhere if you are ill,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, the director of the Pima County Health Department. “And secondly, if you go anywhere, please try to limit a group to ten and socially distance and the best way we know you can do that is outside.”

With triple digits expected through the weekend, Dr. Cullen recommended any time outdoors should be done in the morning or later in the day, to help deal with the heat.

If you are at a gathering, make sure you have some space while by the pool or a BBQ grill.

Dr. Cullen said there are ways to do celebrate while still being compliant, which is needed to get the COVID-19 cases down in Pima County and the state.

“If they can come down again, people get to do more things, things reopen,” said Dr. Cullen. “Right now, especially with the governor’s decision the other day, a lot of things closed up again.  If we want them to reopen, we have to get those numbers down or it’s not safe.”

As of the Friday, July 3, there here have been 1,788 deaths due to COVID-19, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. 282 of those deaths were reported in Pima County.

With fireworks shows cancelled due to the coronavirus and weather risk in Southern Arizona, many people may be planning a ‘show’ at home. Unfortunately, some doctors fear injuries will increase this year as more people experiment with fireworks at home.

[ Tips for safely handling fireworks this Fourth of July ]

KOLD News 13 asked Dr. Cullen if she thought potential injuries could add more stress to emergency rooms around Southern Arizona. She said if you do get hurt or need medical attention, you should not be afraid to get help.

While we want everyone to celebrate safely, Pima County’s top health official says - if you do get hurt - don’t be afraid to get help.

“The emergency rooms are still working fine,” said Dr. Cullen. “People should still go to the emergency room if they feel like they have an urgent or emergent situation.  We don’t want to keep people away from appropriate care just because of COVID 19.”

[ More fireworks in Americans’ hands for July 4 raises risks ]

If you do need medical care and go to an ER, Dr. Cullen said you should expect to go inside by yourself. There will be protocol, you’ll be asked appropriate questions, given a mask and you will get the care you need. 

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