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Officials: Arizona is the ‘hottest hot spot’ for COVID-19

Arizona has been deemed a massive hot spot for COVID-19

In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, vehicles line up at patrons wait for COVID-19 tests at a drive-thru testing center in Phoenix. Arizona’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak passed the 8,000 mark on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, as the state reported an additional 153 known deaths, the second-highest daily increase during the pandemic.
In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, vehicles line up at patrons wait for COVID-19 tests at a drive-thru testing center in Phoenix. Arizona’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak passed the 8,000 mark on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, as the state reported an additional 153 known deaths, the second-highest daily increase during the pandemic.
Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

Public health officials said recently that Arizona is ”the hottest hot spot” for COVID-19 right now in the entire country, according to ABC News.

  • Arizona has recently reported the highest case rate in the entire world with record hospitalizations, making it one of the epicenters for the novel coronavirus.

What’s going on?

Dr. Marjorie Bessel, chief clinical officer for the Banner Health hospital system, said nearly half of all hospital patients have COVID-19, according to ABC News.

  • “Hospitals in the state of Arizona are stretched very thin right now despite a considerable amount of preparation and work to increase capacity,” Bessel said.

She said people should “shrink your circle” and “stop attending unmasked gatherings even if you feel well.”

  • “It is very likely that someone at those gatherings has the virus, and they are spreading it to you,” she said, noting that contract tracing is not beneficial because COVID-19 “is so uncontrolled in our state.”
  • “We need every one of you to do your part so that hospitals can remain open and accessible for all those in need of health care,” she added.

Bigger picture:

Arizona has the highest per-capita rate of infections with 785 cases per 100,000 in the last week, as I wrote for the Deseret News. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic has a rate of 653 per 100,000 — which is the biggest of any single country.

Arizona, Rhode Island and California all have a higher case rate than any single nation in the entire world.