COVID-19 on its way to endemic status, Arizona health expert says

By Kevin Stone | KTAR.com

COVID-19 is well on its way from pandemic to endemic status, according to one Arizona public health expert.

“I think we’re right at that transition threshold right now,” Will Humble, director of the Arizona Public Health Association, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday.

Humble, a former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said a disease goes from pandemic to endemic “when it becomes something that is no longer a public health emergency.”

He said the highly contagious omicron variant ended up providing immunity to most people who didn’t already have protection.

Number of COVID-19 deaths reported in Arizona continues to fluctuate

“That omicron spike was just off the charts,” he said. “And what that reflected is the virus was infecting all the people that wouldn’t get vaccinated, and now they’ve got both T cells and antibodies in place.”

Humble said that means future cases are less likely than before to result in serious illness.

“Endemic means that it’s still going to bubble around but not translate the way it has the past two years into deaths and hospitalizations nearly to the same extent,” he said.

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