TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb in Arizona, Arizona State University is sorting through the data and trying to figure out how they might be able to reverse the troubling trend.
"Obviously now the state is trending in a new direction and that direction is up and to the right. And that is the direction you don't want to go. That is the foot on the accelerator," said Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of the ASU Biodesign Institute.
"I mean, there are people who can’t go to funerals, people who’s family members are dying and they have to say goodbye over the phone and you’re basically flaunting it,” said Dr. Akhter.
The new direction has researchers taking notice.
"We do know that by far probably the most important thing we can do is mask-wearing because that is the way we transmit this virus is by talking most," said LaBaer.
Short of a vaccine, LaBaer said wearing a mask in public is the best way to reverse the spike.
"I'm surely not here saying that the sky is falling. I wouldn't take that position. I would also say that we're not where we ought to be. Where I believe we are is that we are seeing an acceleration in cases and I would like to do everything I can to stop that because we are dealing with something that transmits exponentially," said LaBaer.
Gov. Ducey just announced that local governments can implement face mask policies.
LaBaer said people in Arizona have either forgotten or don't fully understand we are in a pandemic.
"Got to remind folks that this virus doesn't care. This virus is just a virus and it's gonna hit anyone it can it and we are all fuel for its fire," said LaBaer.
He said to think of the virus as a fire burning out of control with no water to help and all of us, the public, are the fuel. So the only way to stop the burn is to remove the fuel, remove ourselves by staying home, or at least protect ourselves, to keep from spreading.