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Governor Ducey Defends Decision To Reopen As Coronavirus Cases Surge in AZ

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Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is defending his decision to reopen the state amid a surge of new coronavirus cases across the state. 

The Republican governor said Thursday the increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths were projected by state health officials and that Arizona hospitals have the resources to handle the case load of patients. 

Arizona's total number of known deaths attributed to COVID-19 is approaching 1,000, as cases continue to climb statewide. The Department of Health Services reports 530 newly confirmed cases and 15 new deaths as of Thursday night. Total known cases in the state have reached nearly 23,000. 

Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ says the agency is closely monitoring a rise in hospitalizations that began about two weeks after Governor Ducey ended the state's stay-at-home order. 

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