TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona has the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, making it the second time during the pandemic Arizona has the top U.S. infection rate.
“We’re at substantial spread again. Across the state we’re red. We really need everyone to take aggressive action,” said Ann-Marie Alameddin, the President and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.
The United States had an average of 64 new cases per 100,000 people while Arizona had 112 new cases per 100,000 people, the CDC reported Tuesday. The data looks at average daily cases in the last seven days.
Cases have climbed since Thanksgiving. Healthcare workers said the numbers will soon reflect COVID spread from Christmas and New Year’s gatherings.
“We expect that we are going to continue to have an even higher number of cases over the next two to six weeks,” said Dr. Rajiv Modak, a Medical Director & COVID Response Team Member at El Rio.
Alameddin said most Arizona hospitals are already at 90% capacity or higher.
“Looking at that hospital capacity statewide. Where it’s an issue, we are going to go to crisis standards of care,” she said.
Hospitals and healthcare workers are urging the community to take action now.
“We’re at a crucial point right now and we are calling for the public to act. To go back to those mitigation measures we had in the summer that worked. We flattened the curve. We were here before, we are here now and we can do this again.” Alameddin said.