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Maricopa County health officials urge use of face masks as COVID-19 cases rise

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jun 10, 2020

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is urging everyone to continue wearing face masks while in public and to maintain social distancing.

Maricopa County Public Health Medical Director, Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine is warning residents that hospitals are becoming full.

On Wednesday, Maricopa County reported 908 additional cases and 15 new deaths. There are currently 15,282 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maricopa County alone.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Dr. Sunenshine said they are seeing a downward trajectory of available hospital beds which is in part due to some people staying in hospitals longer than usual and new cases of patients with COVID-19.

County health officials are working with state health officials to resolve the issue of maximum capacity at hospitals. Some of the ideas being discussed include allowing hospitals to perform fewer elective surgeries and finding alternate care sites for patients who don’t need as much care.

On average more than 600 cases per day were reported in the last week to 2 weeks, according to Dr. Sunenshine. “Just in Maricopa County, we’ve seen over a quarter of all cases in the last 2 weeks. That’s how many new cases are being reported to public health,” she said.

Dr. Sunenshine said the current spike in cases is not a second wave but a continuation of the disease.

Maricopa County Director of Public Health Marcy Flanagan said “We did expect to see an increase, the numbers have not been a shock to us yet. But if we continue to see a rise that will be a conversation we have with the State Health Department and it will be up to Governor Ducey if statewide mitigation or strategies happen.”