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Arizona COVID-19 cases remain relatively low

The  latest COVID-19 update from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows cases are down slightly from last week. 

Health department data shows Arizona is averaging about 340 cases per day recently. The average hasn’t been that low since May 2020.

Dr. Josh LaBaer, executive director of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, said Arizona appears to be in a good place, even as the omicron BA.2 sub-variant drives new outbreaks in parts of Europe and other parts of the world.

“We’ve been looking to see if that happens in the states, and there's been a hint of a rise in cases in New York and the East Coast area, but we don’t really see good evidence for that here," LaBaer said. 

LaBaer noted it is harder to track cases recently, with fewer people getting tested, and more people using at-home tests. The state health department also recently  changed the way it reports hospitalization data, providing less detail about how many Arizona hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. 

But LaBaer said hospitalization trends appear stable for now.

“One can never say that it’s done because this thing is with us forever, but the numbers are very low in the state, and most importantly, the numbers in the hospitals are very low, the numbers of people in the ICUs are very low,” LaBaer said. 

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.