Geography may also play a role. About 5.5 million of Arizona’s seven million residents — about three in four people — live in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, and Pima County, which includes Tucson. Both issued orders requiring face masks a little more than a month ago, in mid-June.
The Navajo Nation, hit by severe outbreaks in March and April, has also vigorously introduced measures such as mask mandates, checkpoints and curfews. The reservation, which spreads over parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, has reported fewer than 50 new cases a day over the past week, compared with more than 170 a day a few weeks ago.
With prevention efforts on the rise, the vast majority of Arizonans have been living with mask mandates and more shutdowns for about a month, about the time experts say it takes to start seeing the effect of new policies.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 23, 2020
What is school going to look like in September?
- It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.
Is the coronavirus airborne?
- The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
What’s the best material for a mask?
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
- So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
By contrast, many of Florida’s 21 million residents are spread out across big and midsize cities, with overlapping city and county governments. With mask orders in place in many of the largest counties, and with a statewide limit on bars since late June, the state has shown some small declines in new cases in recent days for an average of 10,000 cases a day, down from 11,800 last week.
In Texas, whose 29 million residents are spread across 254 counties, Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars in late June and issued a statewide mask requirement about three weeks ago. The state is now averaging more than 9,000 cases a day, down from more than 10,000 a few days ago. In Houston, officials are seeing reason for hope amid a slight drop in hospitalizations, even as the virus has overwhelmed hospitals in other parts of Texas, including the border region known as the Rio Grande Valley.
“We are cautiously optimistic that we’re seeing a leveling off,” said Catherine Troisi, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, who said the combination of measures seemed to be working.