This Suffering State's Sky-High COVID Numbers Are Even Higher in Reality
Coronavirus cases are spiking in Arizona, but the numbers may be much worse for this reason.
As most of the nation struggles with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, one state in particular is seeing a particularly dire situation, with the highest positive test rate in the country. And a new report strongly suggests that, as bad as things are in Arizona, things actually might be much worse in reality. Why? Well, according to Vox, Arizona "is very likely still undercounting a lot of cases since it doesn't have enough testing to pick up all the new infections."
Arizona's extremely high positive test rate of 27 percent, according to Covid Act Now, is more than five times higher than the recommended maximum of 5 percent. Such a high rate of positive test results suggests that Arizona doesn't currently have enough tests to match the outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
Some have argued that the spike in cases is a result of increased availability of testing. And it is true that more tests beget more positive results. The far more concerning issue, however, is the increase in the percentage of positive results, which indicates that Arizona's coronavirus outbreak has resurged.
On top of that, according to the COVID Tracking Project, the growth of positive cases is outpacing the growth in testing in more than half of the U.S., demonstrating that the alarming spike in coronavirus cases can't be pinned on testing alone. Axios reports that 28 states are now seeing a greater uptick in new coronavirus cases—both lab-confirmed and probable—than administered tests. "The reality is that states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas are struggling to meet the demand for coronavirus tests, meaning the pandemic is already outpacing those states' ability to respond to it," they conclude.
Arizona's coronavirus situation has been concerning for weeks. The state, according to Covid Act Now, has reached nearly 100 percent capacity in its ICUs. (Newsweek reports that only 145 ICU beds, or nine percent, were unoccupied in Arizona as of July 7.)
As a result, Arizona released a rulebook that outlines scoring patients to see who gets COVID-19 care at hospitals. A patient is assigned points "based on the individual evaluation" and "consideration of one-year or five-year mortality." "Lower scores indicate higher likelihood of benefiting from critical care, and priority is given to those with lower scores," the rulebook states. And for more on the situation in Arizona, check out This State Is Locking Down Again for 30 Days as COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket.