According to information from the Arizona Department of Health Services, the state of Arizona saw 1,934 new COVID-19 cases confirmed Monday, alongside 71 deaths.
In addition, adult intensive care beds in use by COVID patients throughout the state continue to hover around the 30 percent mark — roughly the same percentage the AZDHS has reported throughout September.
More than half of the new reported cases — 1,061 in total — originate in Maricopa County, as the state continues its struggle to halt the virus’s spread. Per the New York Times’ tracking data, the seven-day rolling average of over 2,500 new COVID-19 cases is the highest in the state since February, and the average deaths occurring due to COVID within a seven-day period have accordingly risen.
Anti-mask and anti-vaccine sentiment continue to permeate the local and national discourse, spurred on by gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and current governor Doug Ducey, who has consistently rejected mask mandates.
However, COVID-19 vaccination rates in Arizona are ticking upward. Over 70 percent of Arizonans 18 and over have received at least one vaccine dose, and 61 percent are fully-vaccinated as September draws to a close.
Still, these figures lag behind states such as Massachusetts (88.7 percent of adults with one dose, 78 percent fully-vaccinated), New Mexico (85.7 percent with one dose, 74.6 percent with two doses), and California (84.5 percent with at least one dose, 69.4 percent with both).
CDC officials continue to recommend mask usage indoors regardless of a person’s vaccination status, and school districts in Arizona remain in defiance of Governor Ducey’s orders by requiring masks on campus.