PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey said during a Thursday news conference that "Arizona is on pause" as health officials expect to see more spikes in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks.
“We expect that our numbers will be worse next week and the week following, in terms of cases and hospitalizations,” Ducey said. "Whenever we make changes it takes several weeks for the numbers to catch up and the numbers affecting real people."
Ducey again issued a plea to the public to follow social distancing guidelines, avoid crowds, and always wear a mask in public. However, he stopped short of issuing any additional policy change related to enforcing safety precautions.
"This is not another executive order to enforce. And it’s not about closing businesses. This is about public education and personal responsibility," Ducey said. "It’s about asking every Arizonan to act responsibly. To do it for your family, for your friends, for your neighbors, for our frontline healthcare workers, for our parents and grandparents, and our doctors and nurses and medical workers, who are over-worked right now."
Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ also spoke Thursday, and said the state is working to provide funding to testing sites and to work to create more testing sites across the Valley.
Many counties and cities have put out mandates on wearing masks in public to slow the spread of the virus as case numbers continue to climb. Gov. Ducey gave local authorities the ability to put such mandates in place at a press conference last week after many medical officials urged him to make facial coverings mandatory across the state.
As of Thursday, Arizona reportedly has fewer than 200 ICU beds available as state health officials report more than 63,000 cases of coronavirus in Arizona.
So far, 1,490 people are said to have died from coronavirus in Arizona.
There are 198 Adult Intensive Care Unit beds available in the state, or 12%, as of Wednesday, state data shows. There are currently 1,495 ICU beds, or 88%, in use.