Pima County’s Dr. Bob England: Next Few Weeks Key In Knowing COVID-19’s Future

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If you’re one of those people who never get a flu shot, make sure you do this year. If you normally do, make sure you don’t miss it.

That was the key advice Pima County’s Interim Health Department Director Bob England delivered to residents Tuesday morning via his daily video address regarding COVID-19.

England said the last thing you want is to get sick during the winter when the coronavirus could see another peak.



He added that the next few weeks will show healthcare experts two things: How much immunity society has developed to the disease, and COVID-19’s seasonality. He said if the virus behaves really seasonally and cases continue to drop since Arizona’s stay-home order was lifted May 15, that’s good news in the short run.

“But in the long run, that may mean we’re in for it in the winter because if it comes back with a vengeance during the time we have other respiratory viruses and flues circulating, that could be a real mess for all of us,” England said.



He also said now was the time to prepare, both as residents and healthcare providers, for any potential resurgence.

England added that if COVID-19 behaves like other coronaviruses, and if our immune system behaves as it does with other illnesses caused by coronaviruses, “then maybe we’ve got a couple of years worth of protection to look forward to. That means this may be an every winter phenomenon.”

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 data dashboard, the number of cases reported in the state experienced a four-day decrease since May 15 (which experienced the highest single-day new case count, at 553). On May 16, 288 cases were reported, as well as 94 on May 17, 332 on May 18 and 293 on May 19. According to the state, illnesses in the last four to seven days may not yet be fully reported.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 16,783 as of Tuesday, May 26, according to the health department's morning report. Pima County had 2,075 confirmed cases.

The coronavirus had killed 807 people statewide, including 173 in Pima County.

In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had risen to 8,448. Arizona has conducted 273,070 tests statewide, with 4,686 new tests reported Tuesday morning. Across the state, 5.6 percent of tests were positive.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, COVID-19’s fatality rate in Pima County is 4.87 percent, and 4,204 people have recovered in Arizona.

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