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COVID-19 metrics in Arizona steadily increasing as holidays approach

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 10:29:18-05

PHOENIX — Many COVID-19 metrics in Arizona, including hospitalizations, are steadily increasing as the holidays approach.

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On Tuesday, the state dashboard showed the number of reported hospital inpatients related to COVID-19 in Arizona reached 1,624, the highest number since August 8, when the metric was on a decline.

"I do believe that this is a tipping point," said Wendy Smith-Reeve, Arizona's former director of emergency management who is now an ABC15 analyst. "We're certainly trending in the wrong direction."

Smith-Reeve acknowledged people want to gather together around the upcoming holidays, but stressed a message of keeping everyone safe, encouraging people to think about how their upcoming plans affects those around them.

"Let's do the right thing and make sure that we're not being social," she said. "It's really about staying home and staying healthy."

If you are getting together with people outside your immediate circle, Smith-Reeve recommends taking advantage of Arizona's nice weather and doing so outside, where it's safer.

ABC15 has learned that Governor Doug Ducey will be holding a news conference Wednesday afternoon, and is expected to address Arizona's ongoing response to COVID-19. This will be his first public press briefing since October 29.

The news about the briefing came just hours after a report from the White House said that more mitigation efforts were recommended for Arizona amid a "significant" COVID-19 resurgence in our state.