It’s too soon for Ducey to lift COVID restrictions, doctors warn

A new mural near downtown Phoenix pays tribute to workers on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus, including a nurse who gained prominence for standing her ground./Downtown Phoenix, Inc. photo

By Ethan Kispert | Cronkite News

Four Arizona doctors on Friday assailed Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to return to mostly normal operations as vaccinations against COVID-19 ramp up, warning that the coronavirus that causes the disease remains out of control.

Ducey last week said he will begin allowing restaurants and other businesses to run at full capacity, and he has issued an executive order that requires schools to offer in-person instruction for students who want it, starting Monday. Ducey has declined throughout the yearlong pandemic to set a statewide mask mandate.

Related: 

State health chief: ‘May is a very doable timeline’ for everyone to be vaccinated

State Farm Stadium COVID-19 vaccine site eclipses half a million doses given

New coronavirus variant reported in Arizona for the first time

In a pandemic, Navajo community steps up for its vulnerable (AP)

Phoenix VA opens COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans

ASU medical expert leading effort to have hospitals collaborate in a crisis

ADHS expanding vaccine pilot program aimed at low vaccination ZIP codes

Scottsdale company finds success in meeting global demand for personal protective equipment

Dr. Cadey Harrel, a family practitioner in Tucson, was among the physicians who criticized Ducey’s recent actions at a briefing moderated by the advocacy group Committee to Protect Medicare.

“We shouldn’t be throwing gasoline on a fire that we’re slowly starting to finally get control of,” she said. “The facts tell us again and again that until we achieve that 70% of vaccination rate in Arizona’s population, that we need to continue to double mask.”

Also speaking out were Drs. Dionne Mills, Ricardo Correa and Kara Graham.

COVID-19 relief would overhaul, boost aid for 1.5 million Arizona kids 

“We may endanger a lot of people and disproportionately harm marginalized communities and essential workers,” said Mills, a Phoenix obstetrician-gynecologist.

Arizona and other states have had trouble getting a robust supply of vaccines. The Arizona Department of Health Services, which is overseeing distribution at locations ranging from stadiums to local health clinics, has developed a phased approach that prioritizes people based on such factors as age, occupation – workers deemed essential were first in line – and underlying medical conditions.

An estimated 20% of Arizona residents have received at least one shot, according to the health services website. A daily average of 1,284 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Arizona over the past seven days, according to The New York Times.

President Joe Biden has promised that 100 million Americans will be eligible for the vaccine by early summer, and in his presidential address to the nation Thursday, he spoke of action to “mark our independence from this virus.”

To help accomplish this goal, Biden expanded the ranks of medical professionals who can administer vaccines to dentists, veterinarians and paramedics.

Even as the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Arizona decline, health professionals insist on other measures to stay safe, such as continuing to wear masks and social distance. However, there is good news for fully vaccinated people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week said they can gather with one another indoors without masks or distancing.

All three vaccines – from Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – provide some protection from the virus and so far have been 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and death. But as Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute warns, “there is no such thing as a 100% guarantee.”

Share this!

Additional Articles

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

News Categories