This time last week, the state of Arizona had reported 3246 new cases of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)—then a new daily record. At this time one week later, the state is still reporting 3000-plus daily new cases, as the virus’ greatest rises have moved southwest nationally.
It was—at least in terms of preparing personal protective equipment (PPE), hospital staffing, and testing availability. Preparedness wasn’t reflected in much else, Saskia Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC, told Contagion®.
“There’s only so much you can do if open the floodgates to exposures through community-based reopening efforts that were too soon and too fast,” Popescu said.
In the latter half of an interview with Contagion, Popescu, the Phoenix, AZ-based epidemiologist and frequent site contributor, explained how recent efforts to enforce public mask-wearing and rebolstered social distancing felt “contraindicated” in her state.
She also discussed lessons legislators may have hopefully learned from this spike in new cases: how major decisions can influence public perception of this pandemic.
“When you do reopen, it almost gives the impression that things are fine, that there’s no COVID in the community,” she explained. “And unfortunately, I think that communication was lacking.”
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Contagion® is a fully integrated news resource covering all areas of infectious disease. Through our website, quarterly journal, email newsletters, social media outlets, and Outbreak Monitor we provide practitioners and specialists with disease-specific information designed to improve patient outcomes and assist with the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. Our mission is to assure that the healthcare community and public have the knowledge to make more informed choices and have a positive impact on patient outcomes.
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