PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - New data from the Harvard Global Health Institute shows Arizona in a dire place, so much so that the researchers believe the state should shut down right now.
The Harvard Global Health Institute is made up of the top scientists in this country, and just last week, they launched their online risk assessment tool for states. Arizona doctor Shad Marvasti said it's one of the best data tools developed during this pandemic, and Arizona is red hot at No. 1 for all the wrong reasons.
“If this is not a crisis and a time for us to shut down, I don’t know what is,” said Dr. Marvasti, with the University of Arizona College of Medicine. “It’s been a number of weeks now that we’ve been much higher than we should be in terms of our community spread, our percent positive.”
The institute's risk assessment map ranks states as either green, yellow, orange or red.
Green means states are on track for containment, and on the other side of the scale, red means stay at home orders are necessary.
Arizona is one of only four red states on the map, and ranked No. 1 in the entire U.S. by the number of new daily cases per 100,000 people. Dr. Marvasti said Gov. Doug Ducey's partial shutdown has inconsistencies that are failing us.
“It doesn’t make sense to close gyms but not dine-in for restaurants. The science behind why you close those places is because of the increased risk of getting coronavirus in poorly ventilated, enclosed inside settings,” he said.
Ducey said shutting down places like bars and gyms would help slow the spread and relieve stress on our health care system, but Dr. Marvasti said with hospitals overwhelmed and reaching capacity, if Arizona doesn't get a handle on this, the rest of July and August will only get worse.
“I was quoted in the media a few weeks ago as saying we don’t want to be another New York. Well, here we are right now. And we are becoming another New York,” Dr. Marvasti said.
Dr. Marvasti said he hopes our public officials look at this data to make decisions on how to get Arizona on the right track. He also said it's up to individual Arizonans to make a difference, too, by taking necessary precautions to slow the spread.