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Tucson area’s COVID-19 cases may be flattening
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Tucson area’s COVID-19 cases may be flattening

A sign encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations is seen outside the Villa del Puente dorm on the University of Arizona campus.

After several weeks of surging case counts, the COVID-19 numbers may be cooling off in Pima County.

“The optimist in me believes that we may be nearing the top, but it is way too early to make that call. And it’s way too early to be sort of claiming victory,” Dr. Francisco Garcia, the county’s chief medical officer, said Friday.

For four consecutive weeks, since the beginning of July, COVID-19 cases in Pima County had seen big weekly increases, up to 60% in a week. In the second week of August, however, cases only increased by about 4%. Then they only increased by 8% in the third week of August.

It’s too soon to know the final case count for the fourth week of August, due to normal lags in data reporting to health officials.

Although COVID-19 may be showing signs of plateauing countywide, Garcia called the sheer number of COVID-19 cases statewide “staggering.” Arizona had nearly 22,000 cases reported from August 15-21, rising about 6% from the previous week.

“Whatever happens in Phoenix happens here (in Tucson) and in Pima County, so that’s part of the reason why we need to wait and see,” Garcia said.

Weekly vaccination numbers stopped declining around the beginning of July and have since shown a mild upward trend in Arizona and Pima County.

For example, the weekly number of doses administered in Arizona from August 15-21 increased by 5%, reaching 104,038 doses, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Pima County, the weekly number of doses administered increased by 17%, reaching 13,679 doses over the same period.

“We really are actually doing pretty darn well however you want to slice the vaccination story,” Garcia said.

About 54.6% of the county’s total population has been vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 63% of the population has received at least one dose.

Statewide, just about 50% of the total population has been vaccinated, according to ADHS data. And about 55.6% of the population has received at least one dose.

After several weeks of surging case counts, the COVID-19 numbers may be cooling off in Pima County.

“The optimist in me believes that we may be nearing the top, but it is way too early to make that call. And it’s way too early to be sort of claiming victory,” Dr. Francisco Garcia, the county’s chief medical officer, said Friday.

For four consecutive weeks, since the beginning of July, COVID-19 cases in Pima County had seen big weekly increases, up to 60% in a week. In the second week of August, however, cases only increased by about 4%. Then they only increased by 8% in the third week of August.

It’s too soon to know the final case count for the fourth week of August, due to normal lags in data reporting to health officials.

Although COVID-19 may be showing signs of plateauing countywide, Garcia called the sheer number of COVID-19 cases statewide “staggering.”

Arizona had nearly 22,000 cases reported from August 15-21, rising about 6% from the previous week.

“Whatever happens in Phoenix happens here (in Tucson) and in Pima County, so that’s part of the reason why we need to wait and see,” Garcia said.

Weekly vaccination numbers stopped declining around the beginning of July and have since shown a mild upward trend in Arizona and Pima County.

For example, the weekly number of doses administered in Arizona from August 15-21 increased by 5%, reaching 104,038 doses, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Pima County, the weekly number of doses administered increased by 17%, reaching 13,679 doses over the same period.

“We really are actually doing pretty darn well however you want to slice the vaccination story,” Garcia said.

About 54.6% of the county’s total population has been vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 63% of the population has received at least one dose.

Statewide, just about 50% of the total population has been vaccinated, according to ADHS data. And about 55.6% of the population has received at least one dose.

Contact reporter Alex Devoid at adevoid@tucson.com or 573-4417. On Twitter: @DevoidAlex

Contact reporter Alex Devoid at adevoid@tucson.com or 573-4417. On Twitter: @DevoidAlex


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Data/Investigative Reporter

Alex has been with the Star since June 2019. He previously wrote about the environment for the Arizona Republic and he's a graduate of the University of Arizona.

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