In a press conference on Thursday, Arizona officials relayed the message that they are not concerned about the increase in the positive cases despite what appears to be multiple negative trends in the state’s coronavirus cases.
In the press conference, Gov. Doug Ducey and Health Director Dr. Cara Christ relayed that the recent rises in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and positive test percentages aren’t unexpected or reason for concern.
This week, the state reported more than 1,100 new cases on Tuesday, several hundred more than the previous highest daily report. That was followed by Wednesday’s report where more than 900 new cases were added to the state’s total. Friday’s numbers brought the most ever cases in a daily state update with 1,579.
Ducey said that because of the state’s increase in testing, the jump in the number of cases was inevitable, and it was no reason to reconsider his decision to let his stay-at-home order expire and allow most businesses to reopen.
“The more we test, the more cases that we are going to have,” he said.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 1,579 new coronavirus cases Friday morning and 16 additional deaths. The state now has 24,332 positive COVID-19 positive cases and 1,012 deaths.
In another negative trend in Arizona, the percentage of tests coming back positive has been increasing over the past week.
The combined percentage of tests for active COVID-19 infections (PCR) and antibodies (serology) reached 5.9% Friday morning. The total positive rate had dipped to 5.5% one week ago.
When just looking at just PCR tests, the positive rate was up to 7.1% on Friday after falling to 6.6% a week ago.
Christ said there is a strong relations to the increase in positive percentage related to an increase of testing among high-risk communities.
“We are seeing it go up,” she said. “It’s not unexpected especially as we are targeting more of those vulnerable higher areas and higher numbers of long-term care, higher numbers of correctional officers and prisons, so we are going to see changing numbers and we expect that.”
“We are not in a crisis standards of care protocol right now. So we continue to monitor,” she said.