PHOENIX — Arizona's governor and state health director made no changes Monday to coronavirus mitigation efforts despite university professors urging the state to impose a 3-week shelter-in-place order.
Members of the state's COVID-19 modeling team from the University of Arizona sent a letter Friday to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The letter predicted Arizona's daily new cases could soar over 6,000 and hospitals could exceed capacity statewide within a month.
"We have to do something," said UA Prof. Joe Gerald, a COVID-19 modeling team member, in an interview with ABC15. "There are too many Arizonans who have yet to have COVID-19 to think that this is going to die out on its own weight." Gerald added this crisis could "grow by orders of magnitude if we do nothing."
In an email, an ADHS spokesman said strict mitigation measures already exist, including mask mandates for 90% of the state and limits on occupancy for bars and restaurants, gyms, and indoor theaters.
ADHS continues to review modeling forecasts presented by the state universities and is closely monitoring real-time data on transmission and health care capacity, according to the email.
On November 18, Gov. Doug Ducey announced an additional $25 million in CARES Act funding would be allocated to hospitals to increase staffing for the surge of patients.
ABC15 requested interviews Monday with Ducey and ADHS Director Cara Christ. We received no response.