Health experts say spike in Arizona COVID-19 cases is due to local outbreaks and state’s reopening

ARIZONA —  26 states in America are currently seeing spikes in new coronavirus cases, and Arizona‘s rising numbers in hospitalizations and deaths are causing great concerns.

In mid-May, when the Grand Canyon state reopened, close to 500 new COVID-19 cases were reported in a 24-hour span.

A month later that number jumped exponentially with more than 3,500 new coronavirus cases.

In the same time period — from May 15 to June 23 — hospitalizations due to COVID-19 rose in Arizona, from 800 to more than 2,000.

In total, Arizona has reported more than 58,000 coronavirus cases, with over 1,300 deaths.

Health experts said the driving factors for the spike could be due to localized outbreaks in long-term care facilities, and the state’s reopening, which could lead to increased community transmission.

Some Filipino health practitioners weighed in.

“Some of the restaurants here are open full capacity already. The other thing there is we don’t do masks. We should be wearing masks. Everybody should be wearing a mask. In that way we’ll be able to stop transmission of the virus which is airborne,” said Dr. Marietta Uy, internal medicine.

“People are becoming too complacent. They have not been wearing masks at all. I see a lot of people in the grocery and stores without wearing any masks,” said Anna de Guzman Manalo, a nurse practitioner.

Manalo said there could be another cause for the surge.

“I think it is because we are actively testing everybody now. So that is why there’s an increase in the number of cases for COVID-19 right.”

Despite Arizona being a hotbed for the virus, some Filipino residents are raring for the state to fully reopen.

“I am not scared, because I know the drill. I know the protocols. When you’re in public, just wear a mask. It doesn’t hurt anybody. You’re protecting yourself and you’re protecting other people.”

This Filipino restaurant owner is making sure his staff and customers are safe — amid rising numbers in the valley — through regular temperature checks, social distancing and hand hygiene practices.

In fact, restaurant owner John Querubin implemented a stricter policy — no mask means no entry in his establishment.

“Of course we are concerned and that’s the reason why we have put in place precautionary measures that we tell people that they cannot enter without their masks on, and also we are checking their temperatures just to make sure because this is not just for us but it’s for everybody for the protection of all and safety.”

While there is no statewide mandate for wearing face masks — Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey said city mayors should make decisions on what would work better for their constituents.

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