‘A storm is ahead of us’: Ducey warns public of rise in COVID-19, but doesn’t impose new preventive measures

Gov. Doug Ducey holds a COVID-19 briefing at St. Mary’s Food Bank. /Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic/USA Today Network | Pool photo

By Maria Polletta | Arizona Republic

In late May and early June, just weeks before Arizona experienced one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, Gov. Doug Ducey repeatedly sought to reassure his constituents. 

He noted the increase in confirmed cases was expected, given expanded testing; contrasted Arizona’s experience with that of harder-hit states, such as New York and Washington; and for weeks resisted putting more aggressive measures in place. 

Ducey returned to those themes on Thursday during an afternoon news briefing, warning against “conflating” Arizona’s situation with that of the nation at large as reporters pressed him on the state’s worsening COVID-19 metrics. 

“It’s different here in our state than it is in other states,” he said. “Arizona is in a position right now where we need to be vigilant and keep our guard up, but the rise in cases, the concern at the hospital level, is not happening in the state of Arizona at this time.”

It may be soon. 

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