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Arizona reports 2,632 new COVID-19 cases but no new deaths
Yavapai County sees 254 new cases, 3 deaths since Friday

Arizona reported 2,632 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths Monday, Aug. 23.

It’s the first time in five days that the Arizona Department of Health Services’ daily tally of new cases has been below 3,000. This brings the pandemic totals for Arizona to 988,714 cases and 18,600 deaths.

The number of hospitalizations because of COVID-19 continues to go up and stands at 1,901. The last time it was that high was mid-February as Arizona was coming down from a winter surge.

Yavapai County reported 254 COVID-19 cases and three deaths since Friday, according to a news release on Monday. The county has tested 134,874 residents for COVID-19 and there have been 22,884 positive cases and 564 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Yavapai Regional Medical Center reports 42 COVID-19 patients, Verde Valley Medical Center reports 23, and the Prescott VA has three COVID-19 patients.

Much of the U.S. is dealing with a resurgence of COVID-19 brought on by the delta variant. Hospitals and many medical professionals and some politicians are practically begging people to get vaccinated, since the vaccine in most cases prevents severe infections.

School districts and states continue to butt heads over mask mandates. Meanwhile, Monday marked the first day of fall classes at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. They and Arizona State University are all requiring masks in certain indoor spaces.

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins emphasized during a weekly briefing that the campus mask requirement was not in defiance of any state law. Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order bans mask mandates at universities for unvaccinated students and staff.

“We’re not differentiating between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” Robbins said.

The school will continue to encourage free testing even for vaccinated students and faculty. Robbins also said almost half of enrolled students have uploaded proof of their vaccination status.

In other developments, Embry Health, which oversees more than 50 COVID-19 testing sites in Arizona, is opening more locations by the week. Officials with the provider say demand for tests has increased tenfold. They added Monday that testing appointments went from around 1,000 on July 1 to 11,000 as of Aug. 18. They say the leap in testing parallels the spread of the delta variant.

COVID

COVID-19 testing is still readily available and generally free. If you feel sick, please get tested, especially if you have not received your vaccine yet. Testing cannot prevent the spread but knowing when you have COVID and staying home can.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or what seems to be a bad cold, please get tested for COVID-19. Testing sites: https://yavapaiaz.gov/Portals/39/COVID-19/TestingSitesinYavapaiCounty.pdf.

The best way to avoid getting infected is to get vaccinated. The vaccines are safe, effective, and free, the county reports. Visit https://yavapaiaz.gov/chs/Home/COVID-19/COVID-19-Vaccine-Appointments or call 928-771-3122 for appointments.

For Assistance, call 928-442-5103 or visit www.vaccine.gov.

FLU SEASON

In the 2019-20 flu season, influenza and pneumonia were associated with an estimated 38 million illnesses. Arizona has recorded only 1,070 flu cases this season (which began in October 2020), and Yavapai County reports only six cases, according to the county.

The low level of influenza activity contributed to dramatically fewer flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths compared with previous flu seasons. There are several possible reasons for this including the fact that due to COVID-19 many people were social distancing, wearing masks and staying home more often.

All these prevention tools, which help to stop COVID-19 from spreading likely also helped the flu viruses from spreading, the county concluded.   

The 2021-22 flu season is right around the corner and flu vaccines will be available after Labor Day. Flu activity often begins to increase in October and peaks between December and February.

STAY HEALTHY

Things you can do to help keep yourself and your family healthy during flu season include:

• If you are sick, stay away from other people as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Avoid spreading germs by not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your home.

• Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask. 

• Keep these items on hand when venturing out of your house: a face mask, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible. 

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