Casa Grande, AZ (March 27, 2021) – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s latest Executive Order
(EO) transitions COVID-19 guidelines from requirements to recommendations for large events, businesses and local ordinances. The move highlights recent successes for the state and brings people closer to a sense of normalcy. However, an Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) press release just reported the detection of highly infectious South African variants in Arizona. Casa Grande Mayor, Craig McFarland, expressed concern that his community has yet to meet all ADHS benchmarks which helps to reduce the risk of viral spread before fully re-opening. Risk for faster spread and a potential setback increases if residents decide to no longer follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines before the battle against Covid is completed.
“The virus is losing but still persists in our community,” explained McFarland. “Less than 20% in our area have been vaccinated, so masks will still be required at City facilities. If you haven’t received a vaccination, I highly recommend you get one soon.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. Chief Medical Advisor, believes that “if 75% to 80% of the population gets vaccinated, the country could approach herd immunity by summer’s end and normality that is close to before [the pandemic started]” ...by the end of 2021. (The Harvard Gazette). The same applies to local communities.
“Vaccination helps to safely move our community closer to achieving responsible herd immunity faster, while reducing reducing cases, hospitalization and deaths,” said McFarland.
As a community’s ADHS benchmark reaches the green zone, folks can take comfort knowing they have done their part to help reduce a significant risk for covid spread. These measurements are key guides to responsible re-openings while mitigating setbacks. County hospital visits are trending green, but the percent positivity and number of infection cases are still not low enough in Pinal County.
Cases per 100,000 individuals is 63/100k - (Required Green Benchmark is < 10/100k)
Percent Positivity is 11.2% – (Required Green Benchmark is < 5%)
Hospital visits for COVID-like illnesses in the Region is 3.7%. – (Required Green Benchmark is < 5%)
The City has joined efforts with Sun Life Family Health Center to offer residents 18 and older increased access to vaccination appointments at the Dorothy Powell Senior Center. The same partnership delivered about 1,500 vaccinations to locals at the City Recreation Center, earlier this month. Now, folks can access up to 400 appointments daily, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Senior Center by calling (520) 836-3446 (option 1) or visiting www.slfhc.org for more information.
The City strongly encourages businesses to require and residents to continue the practice of wearing quality masks (3+ layers), physically distancing, avoiding crowds, good hygiene and keeping spaces sanitized.
McFarland said he understands that residents may still have questions about getting vaccinated and has scheduled a virtual “Mayor Town Hall on Vaccinations,” April 1 at 6 p.m. Residents can get answers and hear from other locals about their immunization experiences. Health experts will also be on hand to address concerns.