Yavapai County COVID numbers down in August after increase in June, July
More than 50 new COVID-19 cases a day are currently being reported in Yavapai County — a number that Community Health Services Director Leslie Horton says is down significantly from just a month ago.
During a Yavapai County Board of Supervisors meeting in Cottonwood on Wednesday, Aug. 17, Horton presented the latest numbers in the COVID-19 pandemic that has been ongoing for the past two and a half years.
“It is good news this time,” Horton told the supervisors. “The last few times I’ve had to report on COVID, it hasn’t been real positive news, and we’re usually in a battle with trying to keep the levels lower and keep people isolated and quarantined.”
Noting that numbers have been dropping in recent weeks, Horton said, “So, it is actually a much better time for COVID right now.”
Even so, she added, “Still, we are seeing COVID in the community” and would likely continue to see cases in the months to come.
Horton’s numbers show that Yavapai County is averaging about 52 new COVID cases this week. That is about half the 103 new cases that the county was recording on July 11, 2022.
Overall, Horton reported that the county has recorded 52,908 COVID cases since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. But she pointed out that many people are conducting home tests for COVID, and the county often does not learn about those cases. Because of that, she said, “I would assume that it’s probably a strong multiplier of five or six that number.”
Currently, Horton said the county is continuing to do “an immense amount of work to track and watch the trends in COVID.”
After seeing an increase on Memorial Day weekend, 2022, the numbers continued to rise through July 4, Horton said, adding, “And now we’ve been on a downward trend, pretty much since mid-to-late-July.”
Her statistics show that January of 2021 and 2022 have been the highest months for new cases of COVID in Yavapai County.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Yavapai County has had 1,266 COVID-related deaths, Horton reported, adding that those deaths had been determined to be actually COVID-related, and not from another cause.
Currently, Horton said, 95% of people are suspected to have some level of immunity — either from having COVID or from having been vaccinated, or both.
“We have a lot of people that got vaccinated and got COVID,” Horton said. “Hopefully, they got a much lesser strain of it, but I have heard from some it’s still been pretty severe. But, what the vaccine was meant to do was keep you out of the hospital and keep you from dying from COVID.”
Horton reported that, based on new CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, the rules have changed for those who have COVID or have been exposed.
Under the current guidelines, she said, people need to isolate for five days from the start of symptoms (or testing positive with no symptoms), if symptoms are improving and the person is fever-free for 24 hours.
The CDC also suggests that people who have tested positive for COVID wear a high-quality mask until day 10.
“If symptoms worsen or return after isolation is ended, start over with the five-day isolation,” the guidelines state.
Another change is in the quarantine guidelines for people who have been exposed to COVID. “CDC says it’s no longer necessary, but urge people to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days after a known close contact with a person who has COVID-19.”
In addition, the new CDC guidelines say that social distancing is not necessary.
Since January 2021, Yavapai County providers have administered 321,089 vaccinations, with 50% of the population now fully vaccinated, and an additional 7.5% with only one shot, according to Horton’s presentation.
In addition, her report noted that studies have shown that vaccines are effective for about six months for most people, and a booster is needed to improve immunity sometime after six months, or two months for the J&J vaccine.
Information on vaccinations and where to get them is available at https://www.vaccines.gov/.
Overall, Horton told the Board of Supervisors, “I think that we’re all going to have to learn to live with this as a general rule, just like we have with the flu and other illnesses over time. It’s going to be in our communities for a while, and we’ll try to do our best to work with it.”
Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or email@example.com.
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