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Arizona Health Expert Warns About The Dangers Of Becoming COVID-19 Complacent

While Arizona’s coronavirus situation may be improving, some public health officials fear people may lose sight of what has worked to get us here.

In mid-August, Joshua LaBaer, executive director of Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, told reporters he’d like to see daily new cases numbering in just the 10s rather than the hundreds still reported most days, if not more. He offered advice on how the state could do just that.

“To my thinking, best way to do that is with increased testing, so we can identify where the cases are," LaBaer said.

But while the percentage of tests that come back positive seems to be heading downward, so, too, is the total number of tests. LaBaer said the number of people seeking out a COVID-19 test is still fairly healthy, but not ideal.

“Whereas, a few weeks ago, we were seeing hundreds and hundreds, I mean thousands of people just showing up. Now, you know, we have the capacity to do thousands of people, but we’re seeing fewer of them show up. I’m worried that people will become complacent," LaBaer said.

To talk about what happens when people do grow more complacent, The Show spoke with Dr. Farshad Fani Marvasti, director of public health, prevention and health promotion at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine in Phoenix.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.