TUCSON (KVOA) – Much of the country, including in Southern Arizona are seeing high spikes in COVID-19 cases. This comes amid flu season and just weeks before the holiday season.
Some health officials are attributing the current spike to large gatherings and the opening of businesses. Others said the colder temperatures are forcing people back inside making social distancing almost impossible.
Paula Mandel, the Deputy Director for the Pima County Health Department said while it’s still warm enough to celebrate outside in the Old Pueblo, it wouldn’t be for long.
“Texas and Arizona, I keep thinking about, we are right now it’s still warm, maybe our celebration it’s still outside, we social distant, probably it’s not going to work on the East Coast or Southwest,” Mandel said.
As of Friday Nov. 13, Arizona has almost 300,000 positive COVID-19 cases. Will Humble, the Executive Director of the Arizona Pubic Health Association, said the rise of cases is linked to the loosed restrictions.
“More and more bars are ignoring the mitigation measures and are allowing themselves to go way over allowed capacity,” Humble said.
Another big concern is flu season. According to the Center for Disease Control, COVID-19 and the traditional Influenza, have a lot of similarities. Some symptoms include: headache, shortness of breathe and fever. Heath officials say some could confuse the two, making their symptoms appear less severe.
With this in mind, Southern Arizonans are warned to stay vigilant.
“It’s a combination of things, it’s not one single thing importantly there are also big policy options,” Humble said. “It’s not oh the Midwest is bad so we have to be bad, too.”
Experts tell News 4 Tucson a vaccine is right around the corner, but until then, Southern Arizonans are advised to continue down the road of caution.