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3 things to know about the latest COVID-19 uptick in Arizona

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ says vaccinations are key to stopping the uptick in COVID-19 cases.

PHOENIX — Medical professionals are urging people to get vaccinated. In Arizona, the state health department said 51.6% of people are vaccinated, which is just above the nationwide rate, but experts say it’s not enough to stop the pandemic

The pandemic of the unvaccinated

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN’s State of the Union, "It's kind of like we have two kinds of America. We have the very vulnerable unvaccinated part and the really protected vaccinated part."

The United States is in the middle of a COVID surge attributed to the more infectious delta variant. According to the Center for Disease Control, 49.7% of Americans are fully vaccinated. In Arizona, 51.6% of people are fully vaccinated.

NBC News reports that 90% of people who died from COVID-19 were unvaccinated. That statistic is of major concern to health professionals who say the population needs to reach a 70% vaccination rate to reach herd immunity.

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The delta variant is dangerous

Dr. Zaheer Shah, a physician in Tempe said “ [with] The old variant if you had it and you were not masking or doing social distancing, would result in it passing to 2.5 people.

With this new variant that same person is going to pass it on to four people.” Based on those stats, it makes the delta variant almost twice as infectious.

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Rural areas in Arizona are most at risk

According to Maricopa County data, three areas (all rural) are at the most risk:

Dateland, Morristown, and Wittman, where vaccination rates are about 18%, 31%, and 34%. In a recent blog post Dr. Cara Christ, the Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services said that “areas with lower rates of vaccination are most susceptible to the spread of COVID-19.”

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