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Arizona Coronavirus Infections Jump 200% In Last Two Weeks


Known coronavirus infections in Arizona have increased more than 200 percent in the past two weeks. It follows an easing of restrictions throughout the state and a lifting of stay-at-home orders, however Gov. Doug Ducey is attributing the surge to a ramp up in testing. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

According to data collected by NPR, Arizona has averaged more than a thousand new cases a day for the past week. The state is among two-dozen in the county with rising numbers of infections including Utah, Texas and Florida.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s office says testing in Arizona has doubled since his stay-at-home order expired May 15, which accounts for the increase in cases. In addition, the governor’s office says the surge was anticipated and the state has enough hospital capacity to handle additional cases.

Still, some hospital officials worry about the surge. Banner Health in Phoenix says its number of coronavirus patients on ventilators has quadrupled since mid-May.

In Coconino County, health officials reported a slight dip in known cases at the beginning of June. On the Navajo Nation, where the outbreak has been particularly severe, officials continue to report new cases and deaths but say they’re observing a flattening of COVID-19 infections.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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