Yavapai County COVID transmission rate at 26%
VERDE VALLEY – In its Friday, Dec. 3, report, Yavapai County Health Services reported 885 new cases of COVID-19 for the week and 45 more deaths. The county noted “many” of those numbers were reported late and actually occurred in November.
Among Verde Valley communities from Monday to Friday, 37 Cottonwood residents were diagnosed with the virus, There were 19 in Sedona, 11 in Camp Verde, five each in Clarkdale and Cornville, three in Lake Montezuma/Rimrock and one in Jerome.
According to county health, 103,997 residents have been tested in the past six months. There have been 33,408 positive tests reported since the beginning of the pandemic and 825 deaths. The county has what is considered a high transmission rate at 25.9%, with 371 cases per 100,000 residents for the week ending Nov. 21.
Verde Valley Medical Center reported 28 COVID patients.
Overall, the state has had 1,282,191 cases of COVID, leading to 22,397 deaths. More than 5,200 confirmed new cases were reported in the state Friday. There were also 14 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Meanwhile, the first U.S. case of the Omicron variant of COVID (B.1.1.529) was reported last week. The variant was first identified in South Africa Nov. 26 and named Omicron Nov 30. It has raised concerns because of its high number of mutations as exhibited abroad.
“However, the number of mutations that a variant has does not necessarily mean it is more dangerous,” Yavapai County Health Services reported in a Friday update. “One healthcare provider in South Africa has indicated the patients she treated had mild symptoms. Others, identified as ‘travelers’ who have tested positive for the Omicron have appeared asymptomatic. What is unknown at this time is: how our immune systems will respond to this variant, if the variant will be mitigated by current vaccines and whether it has greater transmissibility.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the person had just returned from South Africa. ‘The individual had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been testing positive,” the CDC said in a media statement. “All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative.”
The CDC and the World Health Organization continue to recommend vaccines for everyone over the age of 5.
• Get vaccinated: azhealth.gov/FindVaccine;
• Get your booster: azdhs.gov/Boosters
• Get kids ages 5 and older vaccinated: azhealth.gov/VaccinesForKids;
• Get your flu shot: azhealth.gov/Flu;
• Mask up, physically distance, keep your hands washed, stay home if sick, and follow other prevention steps detailed at azhealth.gov/COVID-19; and
• If you contract COVID-19, get tested early and see if you qualify for monoclonal antibody treatment to reduce the severity of your illness: azdhs.gov/mAbs