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Two Records In Three Days: 2,500 New COVID-19 Cases In Arizona

For the second time this week, Arizona reached a record high for new COVID-19 cases. 2,519 new cases were reported Thursday.

Before this week, Arizona  had never reported more than 2,000 new positive cases in a single day. Tuesday and Thursday both set records, and Wednesday was the state's third-highest day for new cases since the outbreak began.

When Gov. Doug Ducey in mid-May announced plans to begin allowing Arizonans to return to gyms, restaurants and hair salons, about 5% of COVID-19 tests were coming back positive. That positive rate has tripled in the month since,  state data show.

Arizona Department of Health Services director, Dr. Cara Christ, told reporters this week one danger is the virus’ ability to spread from asymptomatic carriers.

“So people may not look sick, they may not feel sick, so that’s why it’s so important that people wear a cloth face covering when they are out," Christ said.

She also said the state is updating guidelines to try to slow the spread of the virus.

“There now will be requirements for restaurants and businesses to enforce physical distancing to ensure that there are safeguards in place to prevent transmission," Christ said.

The governor is  now allowing mayors to require masks in their jurisdictions, but he stopped short of requiring mask use statewide.

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.