Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Pima County issues mass alert as COVID-19 cases surge

Posted By on Wed, Dec 9, 2020 at 4:02 PM

The Pima County Health Department distributed a mass alert Wednesday informing the public of its renewed public health advisory as COVID-19 cases reach alarming levels.

The message was sent to those who signed up for emergency alerts and revealed coronavirus transmission rates are “extremely high” and that local hospitals have reached or are nearing capacity, according to a news release from the health department.

In the message, the health department echoed the COVID-19 mitigation guidelines strengthened by the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 4. These include the continuation of the county’s mask mandate and tougher enforcement for those who don’t comply.

Other guidelines designed to slow the spread of the virus include:

  • Adhering to a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. In Tucson, this curfew is mandatory.

  • Staying at home as much as possible.

  • Maintaining a 6-foot distance from those not in your immediate household.

  • Frequent hand washing and sanitization.

  • Limiting public and private gatherings of individuals from separate households.

The mass alert comes as Pima County reported 7,711 coronavirus cases in the first nine days of December. According to a news release from Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, health experts predict at least 500 weekly COVID-19 deaths in the state by January.

“The news of rising cases and deaths is alarming,” Kirkpatrick said in the release. “We must continue to follow the guidance of health professionals in order to alleviate the stress on our hospitals, which are reaching capacity. Arizonans, please continue to socially distance, wear a mask around others, and wash your hands. We will only get through this if we commit to the cause, together.”

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