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Health experts: Labor Day weekend did not lead to spike in COVID-19 cases

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Posted at 9:12 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 01:12:41-04

PHOENIX — It's been more than two weeks since Labor Day, and according to the director of public health at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, the state has not seen a spike in cases as a result of the holiday weekend.

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"In general we haven't noticed a huge increase like we did after Memorial Day, so far," said Dr. Shad Marvasti.

Dr. Shad has been following several metrics--including the positivity rate, the rate of reproduction and hospitalizations.

"We're not at the lowest point that we've been, and we're not at the highest point. We are creeping up a little bit, but that's to be expected also because we have more people in circulation that there have been before--the universities are open, schools are reopening, bars are open to a certain capacity, movie theaters, and other public settings," said Dr. Shad.

Dr. Shad said numbers appear to show that safety protocols and restrictions are working.

"It tells me that people are following the rules--they're wearing masks, they're keeping their distance," said Dr. Shad.

A few weeks ago, we also started to see a dip in the number of people getting tested for the virus. Last week, ADHS started including the new antigen tests in the total number of positive cases and testing, which caused test averages to go up.

"And that's good because that allows us the opportunity to eventually start doing real contact tracing," said Dr. Shad.

The antigen test is a rapid way to determine current COVID-19 infections. Dr. Marvasti said those who work in essential jobs or commonly interact with people should get tested regularly.

Dr. Shad said, being on the heels of flu season, the things we do to stop the spread of COVID-19 also help to stop the spread of the flu.