Covid cases trend upwards ahead of holiday season

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As we mentioned, Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the increase in Arizona. We asked Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, why Arizona’s covid numbers are going in the wrong direction.

“I don’t know what’s going on, to be honest with you. This delta wave I expected to behave like the previous three waves where it goes up then starts to go down, we talked about a few weeks ago how the delta wave was leveling off but now it’s looking like an M, it’s going back up again,” Humble said.

Humble noted there has been no major change in policy to attribute to these rising numbers, but that the cases we are seeing are largely due to human behavior.

“People are behaving differently, whatever that is, and it’s giving this virus more opportunities to spread,” Humble said.

The increasing numbers are still largely among the unvaccinated populations in Arizona. Humble said the 8 month mark after vaccination is the point where people should consider getting a Covid booster shot.

Arizona is the only state in America with covid-19 as the leading cause of death, whereas most other states have cancer and heart disease as the top two. Humble said there are two reasons for this, the first is the decision-making of Governor Doug Ducey and former Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ made during last fall and winter.

Another reason is that Arizona has had decent tobacco control ahead of many other states, which has decreased Arizona’s heart disease and cancer numbers.

“We’re way worse than the national average in Covid deaths, and we’re better than the national average when it comes to smoking rates which translates into lower heart disease and cancer,” Humble said.

Will Humble, executive director of Arizona Public Health Association

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