U.S. Sees Steady Declines In COVID-19 While Arizona's Progress Flattens
As more Americans get vaccinated, daily COVID-19 infections in the U.S. have fallen more than 90% from the outbreak's winter peak. But the rate of progress in Arizona has been slower than in other states.
The seven-day averages for new cases and deaths in the U.S. are at the lowest points since the early days of the pandemic, and they’re still falling, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Wednesday, the country was reporting about 21,000 new cases per day — half as many as the country was seeing three weeks ago.
But Arizona’s progress has flattened. The state has been averaging between 500 and 700 new cases per day for about two months.
The rate of COVID-19 diagnostic tests that turn up positive in Arizona has also been stuck for months around 5%, while the nationwide positivity rate has dropped below 3%, according to the CDC.
In a call with reporters Friday, Arizona Department of Health Services director, Dr. Cara Christ said she sees only one solution.
“We just have to get as much of the community as possible vaccinated. That's really what's going to bring that decline," Christ said.
But vaccination rates in Arizona remain below the national average too. About half the country has had at least one dose of a vaccine. In Arizona, the rate is about 46%.