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Arizona Coronavirus Cases Climb; Local Health Professionals Urge Vaccines

The Arizona Department of Health Services Sunday added 2,306 confirmed coronavirus infections to its daily dashboard. It’s the second day in a row more than 2,000 new cases have been reported.

Dr. Joshua LaBaer with Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute said although unvaccinated people account for most of the new cases, the Delta variant of the virus has heightened risks for everybody.

“It’s a variant that because of its ability to grow in very high copy numbers in a person can even infect people who’ve been vaccinated,” he said. “So, people who’ve been vaccinated at the very minimum can become carriers of this virus and sometimes can get ill from this virus.”  

LaBaer expects case counts to rise further in the near future but thinks hospitals will manage patient loads effectively.

“I don’t think our hospitals are going to be overrun. I don’t think their ICU’s are going to be overrun or respirators are going to become in limited availability,” he said. “I think all of that is looking like it’s pretty stable at the moment. But we’re going to see people getting ill  primarily the unvaccinated — and then some of them are going to die.”

LaBaer also said he believes more businesses will eventually mandate vaccines for employees once the FDA grants full approval for the shots which are currently classifed for emergency use authorization.

Arizona Coronavirus Cases, Deaths

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.