As coronavirus cases grow in Arizona, the state could reach a “crisis point” after Thanksgiving, one expert recently warned.
“I don’t see us reaching any particular crisis point before Thanksgiving,” Dr. Joe Gerald, an associate professor with the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health, told the Arizona Daily Star. “But once we hit Thanksgiving and move towards Christmas and New Year’s, I think we will eventually reach a crisis point.”
The Grand Canyon State on Monday reported 435 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases reported in the state to 259,699, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Overall, the state’s positivity rate is 9.6%.
In particular, the total of new cases in the state increased late last month. From Oct. 18-24 to Oct. 25-31, new cases increased statewide by 12% to 9,069, while diagnostic testing rates also grew, according to the outlet.
Gerald’s warning echoes that of other experts, many of whom have cautioned that the upcoming holidays could increase the number of COVID-19 cases throughout the country. Already, the U.S. on Monday became the first nation to top 10 million coronavirus cases amid a recent surge in infections that’s been described as the third wave of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, for instance, said in October that people will have to make “their individual choice” when it comes to how to go about celebrating the holiday this year.
“I think we need to realize things might be different this year, particularly if you want to have people who are going to be flying in from a place that has a lot of infection — you’re going to an airport that might be crowded, you’re on a plane, and then to come in — unless you absolutely know you’re not infected, there are many people who are not going to want to take that risk,” he said at the time, noting that his three children have decided against coming to see him this year.
Speaking to Fox News, Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer of the health care website WebMD, echoed these comments, noting that there is “no one size fits all approach.”
“It all depends on your family members’ health conditions as well as what is going on in your local area as well as where you may travel,” he said.
You can read more about what to do if COVID-19 is complicating your holiday plans here.
Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report.