PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb, public health experts say they are not at all surprised. In fact, they tell us they even expected this.
“Most of us thought that after the stay-at-home orders lifted, then about two weeks out, we'd see more positive cases and I think it's come to fruition here,” said Dr. Frank Lovecchio, an emergency care physician with Valleywise Health.
He is closely monitoring COVID-19 in Arizona, and not at all surprised by the recent spike in cases.
Arizona health officials reported 117 new coronavirus deaths Tuesday morning with 105,094 confirmed cases statewide. The total number of deaths in the state is now 1,927 as of Tuesday morning.
“One of the main reasons is that we're testing more. It's much easier to get a test today than it was a month ago or two months ago.”
However, the total percentage of positive tests has grown in Arizona as well to 5.8%.
“If you let up social distancing and just kind of go out and about as if nothing's wrong, you realize that some people are going to get sick and some of those people are going to die. And more likely to die are the older comorbidities, chronic health problems etc.,” said LoVecchio. “And I think we are accepting of that risk by loosening up social distancing, etc.”
Doctors say social distancing, masks and hand washing are helping to slow the spread and, for now, that is the best way to keep the number of COVID-19 cases down.
“You know I'm glad it's not higher. Ideally, I would like it to be lower, and preferably zero,” said LoVecchio. “I think having a rate of zero is unrealistic until we get a vaccine and even when we do get a vaccine, it’s not going to be 100% perfect.”
Dr. Lovecchio is, however, hopeful the recent spike reminds people to be cautious and not let their guard down when venturing out.