Arizona COVID-19 Case Rates Approach Early Summer Surge Levels

Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 2:37pm
Updated: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 8:53pm
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Arizona State University
Joshua LaBaer

After clawing back from leading the world in COVID-19 cases per capita, Arizona is once again accelerating toward summer levels.

Updating last week's assessment, Joshua LaBaer, director of Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, said the surge is no longer hypothetical.

"I don't think there's any doubt in my mind, we are currently surging in Arizona, and my hope is that we can prevent it from getting to the level where it was and in the summertime."

LaBaer said cases now skew younger than during the June surge, and the medical system is better at outpatient treatment, which could help explain why hospitalizations are comparatively low.

But as new cases approach 1,000 per day, rates of positive tests are up, as are rates of inpatient cases.

Demands for ventilators and ICU beds also have risen.

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