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COVID-19 Modeling Group Expects Surge Of Cases To Worsen

Dr. Joe Gerald
Dr. Joe Gerald
Dr. Joe Gerald

The state Department of Health Services reported 4,848 new cases of COVID-19 Dec. 16. Arizona has had one of the highest case rates in the country over the last seven days as this surge continues. And 108 additional deaths have been reported as of Dec. 16. More than 7,500 people have now died in our state due to COVID-related illness.

As the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues to go up in Arizona, there is also increased hope because the first vaccinations are scheduled to start this week in Maricopa and Pima Counties.

But public health officials are warning that even though some frontline health care workers will be getting inoculated, there is still a need to wear a mask, socially distance, wash hands and do the other mitigation strategies to try to slow the spread of the virus.

Previously, The Show spoke with the executive director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health on what she’s seeing.

Today, we turn to Dr. Joe Gerald. He’s an associate professor of Public Health Policy at the University of Arizona, and team leader for the UA COVID-19 Modeling Group.

The Show spoke with him for more about what the COVID-19 numbers in Arizona are telling him.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.