Talk of the Town: Yavapai County Board of Health urges local leaders to take strong COVID-19 mitigation action

To the supervisors, mayors and council members of Yavapai County, the Yavapai County Board of Health has continued to follow the pandemic of COVID-19.

Since July we have seen fortunately few cases of eight to 10 per day. Sadly, in the past month those cases have increased to more than 200 per day across the county.

Nearly half of hospital beds in the county are occupied by COVID-19 patients. We are now seeing more than two deaths per day of Yavapai County residents.

Additionally, we are continuing to observe the impact of the latest rise in cases in our community.

Our outpatient health care sites, including our testing partners, have been overwhelmed with the demand for testing, results-management and health care staffing. The local schools are struggling with the provision of some services, e.g. bus services, as staff are unable to work due to illness.

These numbers will undoubtedly overflow into the local hospital system, as a percentage of these positive patients will need higher level care. It is paramount that our local health care system maintains capacity to care for acute illness within the community, COVID-related and otherwise.

It is well-documented that mitigation measures can decrease the community spread of COVID-19. Those strategies are well outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Given the significant rise seen in the past month, the Yavapai County Board of Health strongly urges you to take strong action to protect your constituents by requiring they follow the mask guidelines published by the CDC and forgo large in-person gatherings this holiday season.

These guidelines take into consideration various circumstances. Your constituents should follow these guidelines when they are not able to maintain an appropriate distance in public.

Our duty is to promote the health and safety of the citizens of Yavapai County.

We respectfully request you take necessary measures to protect the citizens of Yavapai County.

Respectfully,

Jeanne Briggs, chair, submitted this on behalf of the Yavapai County Board of Health.

Other signatures included April Rhodes, Carol Mumford, Cynthia Gentle, Dr. Charles Welly, Jeanne Briggs, Kristin Lord, Mary Mallory, Mitzi Wasden, Russell Duerksen, Stephen Nathenson, Tim Barnett, and Dr. William Thrift.

For more information, visit the CDC Guidelines Link at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html.

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