COVID-19 infections in Arizona are still on the rise and close to reaching levels similar to that of the surge in cases over the winter, thanks to the Omicron subvariant BA.5, which accounts for the majority of all current cases in the U.S.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) COVID-19 data dashboard, there were 15,280 new cases reported in the past week, with 60 new deaths attributed to the virus. Of the 73,062 new tests reported last week, 12% returned positive.
Experts are still adamant that things are still better now than they were during the winter surge with nearly 75% of the Arizona population having received the vaccine and 2.1 million Arizonans with some level of immunity from prior infection, However, according to AZMirror, the BA.5 variant has a mutation that allows it to bypass the immune system of vaccinated individuals. The Food and Drug Administration is reportedly working on authorizing a booster that targets BA.5 and its sister variant BA.4.
Citing a Johns Hopkins University study on the correlation between a lack of insurance and susceptibility to COVID-19, the Payson Roundup estimates that the medical insurance coverage gap was responsible for 50% of the 2.1 million infections and 40% of the 31,000 deaths in Arizona related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
People without insurance typically suffer a late diagnosis of health concerns and lack of ongoing care for chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and other problems. Studies showed that during the pandemic, people without insurance were less likely to get tested, less likely to seek treatment early and less likely to receive life-saving treatments once they developed.
A program that promotes resilience and stress-reduction among hospital staff is feasible and associated with improved outcomes in hospitals, according to a study in JAMA Network Open. Researchers found that a whopping 91% of participants completed the program and 88% reported being satisfied.
Participants also requested further engagement with the Promoting Resilience in Stress Management (PRISM) program following the study’s conclusion, Physician’s Weekly reports. From the study’s authors:
The PRISM at Work program was designed to help [healthcare workers] and hospital staff manage stress and improve resilience through a manualized, skills-based coaching curriculum… Our data also suggest that receipt of PRISM was associated with increased perceptions of resilience and reduced feelings of anxiety, stress and burnout from preprogram to post-program assessments.