Arizona catches up to New York in COVID-19 deaths per capita, experts worry about winter

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Arizona has caught up to New York in COVID-19 deaths per capita, leading experts to worry the state could be heading for a deeper crisis as winter approaches, The Washington Post reported Oct. 25.

The state experienced a 138 percent increase in the seven-day rolling average of daily new deaths per 100,000 individuals the week ending Oct. 17, according to data collected by The Washington Post.

More than 52 percent of individuals in the state are vaccinated, but Will Humble, executive director of Arizona’s Public Health Association, told The Washington Post "vaccine-resistant seniors" are causing a continued influx to hospitals.

An Oct. 22 report from Joe K. Gerald, MD, PhD, associate professor at the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health, and Patrick Wightman, PhD, a researcher at the school’s Center for Population Science and Discovery, outlined concerns for community transmission in the coming months.

"As winter approaches, more previously vaccinated and previously infected individuals will become susceptible," the report reads. "While these individuals will remain protected from severe outcomes, they will contribute to community transmission. Unvaccinated Arizonans will not be able to avoid infection by 'free riding' on high levels of community immunity."

 

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