UA doctor says beating the summer heat may lead to increased COVID-19 spread

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 4:20pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - 11:26am
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As temperatures continue to rise in Arizona, more people will be spending time indoors to escape the heat.

Dr. Shad Marvasti with the University of Arizona says this may lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases, as the virus is more easily spread indoors.

“There’s no doubt we’re definitely going to see an increase if people spend time indoors in public spaces without high-quality masks on. So that will definitely happen, the question is how much of a bump we’ll see in the numbers,” said Marvasti.

Marvasti says the biggest challenge Arizona faces is lagging behind the national average in vaccination rates, but those who are vaccinated should not be as much at risk if cases spike this summer.

"At this point in the pandemic, it's not just about cases, it's about severity of the cases leading to hospitalizations. And if you're fully vaccinated, and definitely if you're boosted, you're really protected against that," said Marvasti.

Arizona ranks 28th in percent of population vaccinated at 61%, almost five percentage points behind the national average.

The Show also spoke with Marvasti to learn the current situation with COVID in Arizona as cases elsewhere begin to climb.

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