COVID-19 Cases Continue Spiking As Vaccine Rollout Underway

Published: Monday, January 11, 2021 - 12:11pm
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Jan. 11 marks the start of the second phase of Maricopa County’s vaccine distribution. The county is entering Phase 1B in its vaccination plan, making the vaccine available to school staff, law enforcement and adults over 75.

Until now, the county has only been vaccinating health care workers and adults in long-term care facilities.

Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine with Maricopa County Public Health says new sites will open next week to reach these additional populations.

“You’ll start to see specialized clinics for school staff and childcare workers. You’ll see pharmacies and federally-qualified health care centers who have vaccine to offer for those individuals age 75 and over," Sunenshine said.

Sunenshine warns that people in the 1B group may not be able to get an appointment right away as many health care workers still need their shots, but urges patience.

While further roll out of the vaccine is good news, the spread of the virus continues to tear through our community.

The state reported a record more than 11,200 new cases of the virus Jan. 10. As of Jan. 11, the state health department reported 8,995 new cases — and there is typically a lag in the numbers on Mondays due to weekend reporting.

Those skyrocketing case numbers have led teachers in the Peoria School District to stage a sickout today, forcing six high schools and three elementary schools to close due to lack of staff. They are the latest district to protest in-person schooling in the county. And outside of the classroom, athletes’ winter sports have been canceled by the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s medical committee.

For more about the rise in cases and the rollout of vaccines across the state, The Show spoke with Will Humble, former state health director and current executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association. 

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