As of Oct. 4, La Paz County has had 548 cases of the coronavirus and 15 deaths. However, the number of new cases has declined in recent weeks. There were no new cases reported on Sunday, Oct. 4.
The Arizona Department of Health Services is reporting on their website that all Arizona counties now meet the benchmarks for reopening the types of businesses that had been closed since June due to the coronavirus pandemic. These include indoor gyms and fitness centers, bars serving food, and movie theaters.
ADHS said this reflected the decline in new cases across the state. The department’s director, Dr. Cara Crist, said the virus is still with us, which means Arizonans still need to socially distance and wear masks.
On Thursday, Graham County advanced to the moderate transmission stage, joining 13 other counties in the state. The remaining county, Greenlee, is in the minimal transition stage.
La Paz County met the benchmarks some weeks ago, which is why the Parker Unified School District was able to go to a “hybrid” learning structure where students attend some classes in person and other classes online.
Meeting the benchmarks led to the limited reopening of the BlueWater Resort & Casino in Parker. The BlueWater is an enterprise of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. The Tribes have continued their mandate that face masks be worn in public areas on Tribal land.
On their website, ADHS said, “The state’s plan for safely reopening these industries requires that the three benchmarks on the ADHS Business Dashboard be met for 14 days, with a 12-day reporting lag, to move between transmission phases. These are cases per 100,000 residents, percent positivity, and COVID-like illness as a percentage of hospitalizations.”
“To reopen, affected businesses must submit an online attestation stating they are in compliance with public health protocols and guidelines prescribed by ADHS, including occupancy limits, a mask requirement, and steps to reduce groups from congregating. The businesses must post the attestation form where customers can see it. Additional details are available in the ADHS COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses.”
Around the state, there have been 221,000 cases as of Oct. 5, with 5,707 deaths. The largest number of these cases, 143,000, have been in Maricopa County. According to the Worldometers website, 35,838 have recovered. Of the cases that have reached a conclusion, 86 percent have recovered.
Across the nation, Worldometers reports there have been 7.64 million cases with 214,000 deaths. There are 2.57 million active cases, and 4.86 million have recovered. The national recovery rate is 96 percent.