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Delta variant takes hold in Arizona and Maricopa County is a hotspot

More than 90% of new cases in state are from unvaccinated people
The delta variant of COVID-19 has taken hold in Arizona and accounts for 75% of all the new...
The delta variant of COVID-19 has taken hold in Arizona and accounts for 75% of all the new cases.(Source: AP Photo/John Locher, File)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The delta variant of the COVID-19 has taken hold in Arizona.

It first appeared in the state in April and it now accounts for 75% of the new cases.

The state has seen an uptick in news cases in recent weeks -- about 1,500 each day for the past nine days. The case are primarily in Maricopa County, which is still less than 50% vaccinated.

“It’s a little early to talk about the severity that we’re seeing,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

She believes in about two weeks, the state will have a better picture of where it’s headed. But she admitted the state has seen an uptick in cases and hospitalizations.

“It’s much more contagious, can spread to people much easier,” she said. “We think the increase in cases is just (delta) establishing itself as the predominant strain in Arizona.”

The state is reluctant to say whether it will impose new rules or guidelines in wake of the increase.

“We continue to monitor but we didn’t put additional mitigation strategies back in winter, so I wouldn’t imagine we will,” Christ said. “Our recommendation is, go get vaccinated and be fully vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

More than 90% of new cases and 94% of hospitalizations from COVID-19 are unvaccinated people.

“I’ve heard from our health care partners that people seem to be getting sicker faster,” she said “I don’t have a great deal of data on that, but hospital usage is up slightly.”

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