There were 373 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Arizona on Wednesday and a total of four new deaths related to COVID-19. On Tuesday, the state passed the 18,000 marker for total deaths. The 17,000 death benchmark was passed on April 7. In terms of vaccinations, 49.9% of the state has been vaccinated against COVID-19. 9% of intensive care unit beds statewide are in use by COVID-19 patients and 14% are currently available.
This information comes courtesy of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) COVID-19 data dashboard.
Governor Doug Ducey rescinded 25 Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic on July 2. The Governor’s Office released a statement saying many of the policies were codified into law by the Arizona State Legislature and were no longer necessary. These included things like prohibiting mandatory mask use in schools including universities and other “excessive” mandates and prohibiting vaccine passports issued by government agencies.
First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff visited Arizona this week and stopped by a pop-up vaccination clinic funded in part by ADHS in partnership with Equality Health and HeroZona. The ADHS press release noted that seven state-run mass-vaccination sites have closed after administering 1.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Associated Press reported that Pima County is phasing out its mass vaccination sites as well and pivoting efforts to permanent healthcare facilities like pharmacies and clinics to vaccinate the rest of the Tucson-area population. June 26 was the last day of operation for two vaccination sites operated by the county in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The Biden administration is sending a “surge response” team to prevent the Delta variant from spreading further in COVID-19 hot spots, according to Modern Healthcare. The teams will be staffed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and FEMA. The major concern is that spread from the Delta variant could overwhelm hospitals in areas where vaccination is low. From White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients:
We’re intensifying our efforts to help states prevent, detect, and respond to hotspots among the unvaccinated by mobilizing COVID-19 surge response teams to be at the ready to deploy federal resources and, where needed, federal personnel.
Many individuals who were vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen (J&J) vaccine are getting a booster with one of the mRNA vaccines, according to MedPage Today. While there isn’t a blanket agreement on whether a booster would be helpful for J&J recipients, it could possibly offer better protection. From Angela Rasmussen, PhD. of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada:
Sometimes public health requires making tough decisions without a complete data set to support it.