As vaccines continue to roll out across Arizona, an update from ASU reports another decrease in active cases in the community since Monday.
The University reported a total of 116 active cases on Thursday, down 50 cases since Monday. Of the active cases, 99 are students and the remaining 17 cases are employees.
Currently, four students are in isolation on the Tempe campus, and two students are in isolation on the ASU Downtown Phoenix, West or Polytechnic campuses. 93 cases are off campus in the metropolitan Phoenix area.
The University has reported a cumulative total of 1,822 positive COVID-19 cases since Jan. 1, out of the 56,549 total tests administered.
Since Aug. 1, the University has reported a cumulative total of 6,327 positive COVID-19 cases.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 939 new positive cases in Arizona as of Thursday, along with 121 new reported deaths. Arizona had a positivity rate of 21.4 positive cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days, ranking 16th in the nation, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention COVID tracker.
Will Humble, executive director for the Arizona Public Health Association, said state leaders made several missteps in virus mitigation early on in the pandemic in a virtual event held on Tuesday by the ASU COVID-19 Community Response Team and Center for Global Health Speaker Event.
During the first several key “policy checkpoints” last spring, the state failed to maintain the necessary public health guidelines needed to control the spread of COVID-19, resulting in spikes of cases seen in June and July. By the time the state allowed mask mandates to be implemented at the city and county levels, hospitals were under stress, Humble said.
“If you're going to have an impact with this virus, you've got to make a good decision a month ago to benefit from it today,” Humble said.
Although positive cases and hospitalizations in the state are now currently trending downward, Humble said policy decisions are not immediately visible in terms of positive case totals. As the state continues to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, policy decisions will dictate Arizona’s success, Humble said.
“Because this is not bad luck, it's policy choices that are made that drive the human behavior that drives the spread of this virus that fills hospitals and that kills people,” Humble said.
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