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COVID cases rising in Coconino County and statewide

COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise in Coconino County and statewide. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, health officials encourage residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

Last week there were nearly 400 new COVID-19 cases reported to the county. That’s nearly triple the numbers reported four weeks ago. Coconino County epidemiologist Matthew Maurer says the numbers are under-estimated because many people take at-home tests which aren’t included in the data.

"With these increasing trends, very important to follow all those prevention and mitigations strategies we’ve been mentioning all along. Very important, if you are sick, staying home, of course," he says.

Case numbers have been highest in Flagstaff and nearby tribal nations.

Hospitalizations are also rising, but Mauer says deaths from COVID-19 remain low and steady, averaging about one per week. That’s because of vaccination, natural immunity, and better treatment options.

Sixty percent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.

See Coconino County's COVID dashboard here:

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.