Case Count Surpasses 165,000
As of today, July 28, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports a total case count of 165,934, an 11.6 percent increase since last Tuesday. The ADHS reported 2,107 new cases today, and numbers show that Maricopa County remains the county with the highest reported COVID-19 cases in the state, at a total of 111,446.
Death Toll at 3,408
With 104 COVID-19 deaths reported today, Arizona’s death toll has reached 3,408. Almost 500 new deaths have been reported since last week. People aged 65 and older continue to remain the most affected, making up 72.4 percent of Arizona’s COVID-19 deaths, according to the ADHS.
Over 1.1 million tests have been completed in Arizona, according to the ADHS. People aged 20-44 make up 42.4 percent of all tests. Arizona’s test positivity rate is at 12.7 percent, with PCR testing – which tests for active presence of the virus in one’s body – at 14.6 percent positivity and antibody testing at 4.9 percent positivity.
Governor Doug Ducey said in his update last Thursday that following direct recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, there will be an extended closure for gyms, bars, nightclubs, water parks and tubing. He added that while recent numbers show a decreasing trend in Arizona’s new COVID-19 cases, “There’s no victory lap today – there’s no celebration. We cannot let up. We need to continue to be vigilant every day in the state of Arizona, to continue pressing and to make sure that we stay focused on the fundamentals. So, no victory lap, no celebration. Only continued physical distancing, washing your hands and remembering that you’re safer at home.”
Two weeks ago, Governor Ducey announced a new partnership with Hanes to provide cloth face masks for vulnerable Arizonans. The initiative, known as #MaskUpAZ, has received over 44,000 orders as of Thursday, which are now being shipped.
He added that the state is working with several Arizona advertising and public relations partners on a campaign called Tougher Than COVID, to “pull the politics out of [wearing masks] and make it part of what we need to do to get the pandemic behind us.”
Arizona Public Schools Update
Governor Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman presented updated details on the 2020-2021 school year for Arizona’s K-12 schools last Thursday. The governor said that 180 days of instruction or equivalent hours will be required for students, but that there will be options for in-person and distance learning. He added that schools will be required to provide free onsite learning for students, with safe and healthy protocols in place.