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Arizona officials warn of high COVID levels in 8 counties

Pima, Gila, Cochise, and Apache counties are among the areas listed as having "high" community levels of COVID-19.

PHOENIX — Public health officials are advising residents in eight Arizona counties to wear masks inside public spaces due to high community levels of the coronavirus.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday that residents living in more than half of the state's counties should consider wearing masks for public indoor settings.

The recommendation is based on a data analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which continues to monitor how the virus is spreading nearly three years after the pandemic first began. 

The Arizona counties with high COVID-19 community levels are Apache, Cochise, Gila, Greenlee, La Paz, Navajo, Pima and Yuma. 

"Whatever the community level is in your area, we recommend assessing your risk and the risk of those around you when deciding on masks and other steps that reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases," AZDHS wrote in a statement.

Maricopa County is currently listed in the "medium" level for COVID-19, meaning Valley residents should consult their doctor on whether they need to wear masks. 

Public health data shows Arizona's weekly case numbers for COVID-19 have been rising since mid-September.

Over 12,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Arizona during the week of Nov. 13. One month earlier, Arizona reported about 5,000 cases.

DHS advises all Arizonans to get their flu shot and to consider getting an Omicron booster shot if they haven't already.

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