Yavapai County Struggling To Handle Coronavirus Cases, Receive Adequate Aid

Published: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 11:52am
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Arizona has once again become a hotspot for the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly 6,000 new cases were reported Jan. 5 by the state Department of Health as well as 253 additional COVID-related deaths in the past 24 hours in Arizona.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention now says that Arizona has become the state with the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country. This comes as Gov. Doug Ducey continues to resist implementing any new measures to control the spread of the virus.

Maricopa County remains the place with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, but rural parts of the state are also being hit hard.

In Yavapai County, health officials have recorded more than 12,400 cases of COVID-19 and 225 COVID-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

While these numbers aren’t near the kind of statistics being seen in urban counties like Maricopa and Pima, COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on the state’s rural communities and the health care providers in those areas.

In mid-December, the county’s board of supervisors voted to extend an emergency proclamation closing public facilities through April. And concerns about gatherings during the holiday weekends are mounting as the Yavapai County Community Health Services released a statement saying, "Each of us needs to weigh the risks against our own values, keeping in mind that individual choices affect the collective."

Additionally, coronavirus vaccines are in the process of being distributed nationally and doses were delivered to Yavapai County health care workers and first responders in the days before Christmas — weeks after the first vaccines were delivered to Maricopa and Pima Counties.

Leslie Horton is the director of Yavapai County Community Health Services, and The Show spoke with her for more about the county's situation.

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