Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said on Thursday that Arizonans need to learn to live with the coronavirus.
The Republican governor was responding to recent reports that the state was seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Arizona cases for the virus have exceeded 34,000 and over 1,180 people have died in the state, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Friday saw 1,654 new cases of coronavirus in Arizona, the most new cases reported in one day, AZ Central reports.
‘This virus is not going away. There’s not a cure for this virus, and there’s not a vaccine for this virus,’ Ducey said, according to KJZZ.
‘So this virus is something we need to learn to live with, and we need to make sure that we are protecting the most vulnerable in our society.’
Ducey said that as of Thursday, hospitals have enough beds to treat patients, those who have the infectious disease and those with other illnesses.
Hospitals have reported exceeding 80 per cent capacity for two consecutive days, according to the Department of Health Services.
The governor pointed to a statement from the Health System Alliance of Arizona to bolster his argument. The alliance – which consists of several health organizations in the area – said they are ‘well prepared’ to manage the increasing number of hospitalizations.
‘That’s what’s most important when there is a rise in cases,’ Ducey said. ‘Because a rise in cases could result in a rise of severe illness that requires hospitalization. I want every Arizonan to be able to have the medical care and comfort and resources necessary and today we are able to provide that.’
The sentiment was supported by Dr. Cara Christ, who said that the virus is here to stay said that Arizonans must adjust accordingly.
‘We know that it’s in the community. We are not going to be able to stop the spread. And so we can’t stop living as well,’ Christ said.
On Thursday, Ducey said that he supports Arizonans wearing face masks, especially whenever they are unable to keep safe distance from others.
A mask awareness campaign is expected to be launched by state officials next week.
Ducey won’t take any additional steps, and is refusing to let local governments implement their own restrictions.
‘I continue to believe that the government closest to the people is best, except during a pandemic,’ Ducey said.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Matthew Wright