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This Week in COVID: State and County Vaccine Combat ‘Unlikely’ to Trigger Disruption



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It is Tuesday, February 9. Greater than 787,260 Arizonans have contracted COVID-19 and greater than 14,286 have died in consequence. This is what occurred within the final week:

Arizona is averaging 3,169 instances of COVID-19 every day. The common variety of new instances every day has continued its regular decline because the second week of January. Instances have lastly dropped under the place they had been at in the course of the worst of the summer time surge and at the moment are nearer to the place they had been on the finish of November. Joshua LaBaer, government director of Arizona State College’s Biodesign Institute, mentioned final Wednesday that the height in instances over the vacations adopted by the present lower reveals that vacation gatherings and journey drove a big a part of the surge in instances.

Arizona is now solely the fifth-worst state relating to the variety of COVID-19 instances by inhabitants within the final week. The state averaged 50.5 instances per 100,000 folks within the final seven days, behind South Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina, in line with Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention information. This comes after Arizona had led the nation for weeks in COVID-19 infections by inhabitants. North Dakota now has the bottom case price within the continental United States, with a median of 9.eight instances per 100,000 folks within the final week. Arizona can also be fifth within the nation for the variety of deaths by inhabitants reported within the final week.

Folks with COVID-19 occupy lower than half of all intensive-care beds within the state for the primary time since mid-December. Statewide, 45 p.c of intensive-care beds are in use by COVID-19 sufferers. General, out there intensive-care mattress capability has lastly exceeded 10 p.c, though a 20 p.c “security margin” is often thought of the minimal capability wanted. Nearly all of COVID-19 sufferers in intensive care, 561 of 838, are on ventilators.

Decrease occupancy means hospitals are resuming extra surgical procedures. Banner Well being Chief Scientific Officer Marjorie Bessel instructed the media final Wednesday that the hospital community, the state’s largest, has now resumed surgical procedures that require no multiple evening of intensive-care monitoring and three days of in-hospital restoration. Banner is working by way of a backlog of wanted surgical procedures that had been postponed resulting from COVID-19 and Bessel mentioned they continue to be very busy. A number of the contracts for journey nurses introduced into the state to bolster staffing will start to run out quickly, which would require Banner to observe its staffing ranges intently.

On Saturday, February 6, Arizona’s COVID-19 loss of life toll handed 14,000 folks. Dying numbers typically lag behind the variety of new infections, which means that they don’t essentially mirror how widespread the virus is true now. That is the second week in a row the place Arizona has added an extra 1,000 deaths to COVID-19’s toll.

For the second week in a row, Maricopa County obtained no Pfizer vaccines from the state, however there is no must panic but. Maricopa County spokesperson Ron Coleman mentioned on Monday that the county had been reserving appointments at its vaccination websites solely to distribute the vaccines it has readily available, as a substitute of counting on what it was projected to obtain sooner or later, because the state does. Nonetheless, state officers decided that they wished to get vaccines out sooner, so they’re requiring the county to make use of up its provide of Pfizer vaccines earlier than receiving extra.

A spokesperson for HonorHealth, Lauren Strait, mentioned that the healthcare system didn’t anticipate any disruption to at the moment scheduled appointments at its county-affiliated vaccination web site. Coleman additionally added that the county has sufficient provide to fulfill appointments by way of the tip of the week after shifting doses between websites. After that, the state has promised to proceed offering sufficient vaccines to maintain county websites working on the identical price, he mentioned.

Nonetheless, Banner Well being, which operates two of the six county websites, is pausing new appointments. Spokesperson David Lozano mentioned Banner’s vaccine websites are at the moment booked by way of March and they’re going to honor all present appointments. If there are any hiccups, Banner has a plan to make sure that everybody receives a second dose. Arizona Division of Well being Companies (DHS) spokesperson Steve Elliott mentioned that going ahead, Maricopa County must submit a plan to state officers about projected vaccine utilization as a way to obtain doses.

That is the most recent instance of the state aggressively pursuing a extra central function within the vaccination marketing campaign. Governor Doug Ducey has repeatedly mentioned that he needs “pictures in arms” extra rapidly, and he is put stress on county officers to hurry up efforts. He is additionally used his government energy to redirect vaccines to state-run websites from well being care suppliers that he believes weren’t shifting quick sufficient. After the state opened up a web site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium final week that might solely administer 500 doses a day, Ducey added an extra 21,000 slots largely by reallocating the pictures that may have gone to Maricopa County.

This simply the most recent friction between the state and county that has marred vaccination efforts. Final week, Ducey took a shot on the county on Twitter, claiming inaccurately that no pictures had been wasted on the state-run State Farm Stadium web site, not like at county websites. In actuality, the state was simply utilizing a extra restrictive definition of “wasted,” DHS spokesperson Elliott later confirmed. Whereas county spokesperson Coleman mentioned that disruption is unlikely at county websites as a result of state’s reallocation, working the way in which the state needs with much less vaccine readily available makes long-term planning tougher. Will Humble, head of the Arizona Public Well being Affiliation and a vocal critic of the Ducey administration’s COVID-19 response, was extra cynical, telling Phoenix New Instances that Ducey was prioritizing state-run websites as a photograph op to distract from his poor dealing with of the pandemic up up to now.

The vaccine web site at State Farm Stadium and DHS Director Dr. Cara Christ obtained optimistic press protection on Monday when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris did digital tour. Biden instructed Dr. Christ that he’d obtained a name from the NFL commissioner providing up football stadiums as vaccination websites throughout the nation. He mentioned they’d look to Arizona’s web site for instance of how to do this. And he praised Dr. Christ effusively, thanking her for her dedication and “saving folks’s lives.”

Different vaccination websites proceed to pop up. One in north Scottsdale simply opened in an old brewery. ASU can also be working a site on-campus.

Maricopa County is currently in the prioritized phase of 1B. The chart doesn't reflect that the fact that the county is currently prioritizing only K-12 educators and childcare providers. The state is following similar guidelines but including people 65 and older.EXPAND

Maricopa County is at the moment within the prioritized section of 1B. The chart does not mirror that the truth that the county is at the moment prioritizing solely Okay-12 educators and childcare suppliers. The state is following comparable pointers however together with folks 65 and older.

Maricopa County

If you wish to try to signal as much as get vaccinated, this is the place to go. In the event you meet the county standards outlined above, you possibly can go here to seek out out the place to enroll. In the event you’re 75 or older you too can try the pharmacies listed on the same page. In the event you meet that standards, are a higher-ed educator, or are somebody aged 65 or older, you possibly can register for a state-run web site here — though state-run websites are full by way of the tip of the month. There’s a statewide map of vaccination areas.

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