COVID-19 cases are low for now, but few Arizonans are keeping up with boosters
COVID-19 cases in Arizona have fallen to the lowest point in nearly six months. But U.S. health officials expect a winter surge may be just weeks away.
The Arizona Department of Health Services added 2,400 COVID-19 cases in its weekly update Wednesday. That's the lowest weekly tally in the state since late April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says all 15 Arizona counties are in the “low” category for community transmission.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona also remain very low. During the worst surges of the pandemic, up to 60% of all ICU beds in Arizona have been occupied by COVID-19 patients. Right now, ICU bed use has dropped below 1%, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
But cases are rising in other parts of the world, and the upcoming holiday season means more in-person gatherings, and more opportunities for the virus to spread. The White House is urging Americans to get the updated COVID-19 booster by Halloween to help prevent another severe winter surge.
But uptake has been slow. Boosters that target the omicron strain of COVID-19 became available to Arizonans over the age of 12 in early September. Since then, only about 353,000 Arizonans have received the new shot. That’s less than 10% of those eligible.
This week, the CDC also recommended new boosters for children between the ages of 5 and 12.
Vaccine locations statewide are listed at azdhs.gov/findvaccine.