The 5,070 COVID-19 cases added today to the ADHS dashboard don’t have an asterisk. COVID-19 cases are rising. 

We can’t say exactly why this increase is happening even before the holiday season, though cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to be largely among unvaccinated people. But we all know how to flatten the curve. That’s why ADHS, our local health partners, and healthcare institutions need everyone’s help: 

Get Vaccinated: If you aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19, do so. It can save your life. Hundreds of locations stand ready to provide safe, free, and highly effective COVID-19 vaccines already administered safely to millions of Arizonans. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that unvaccinated people are 6.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 and 11.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated individuals. 

Get a Booster: Federal officials now recommend COVID-19 booster doses for everyone 18 and older who is already vaccinated. You should be six months beyond your last dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two months past your Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shot. A booster dose helps make sure your protection against COVID-19 is as up-to-date as possible [NOTE: This section has been updated to reflect Friday’s approval.]

Mask Up: Where there is substantial or high COVID-19 transmission, as is currently the case across Arizona, do the following even if you are fully vaccinated:

  • mask up in public indoor settings;
  • continue following other proven mitigation strategies, including physical distancing of at least 6 feet and frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer;
  • stay home if sick; and 
  • get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or are 5-7 days past exposure to someone who is positive. 

These mitigation recommendations are especially important at holiday gatherings where multiple generations get together, including older people with weaker immune systems. 

COVID-19 has been predictably unpredictable, and the highly transmissible Delta variant is a continuing challenge. But we do know that people who are fully vaccinated are far less likely to get COVID-19. If they do get a rare breakthrough case, fully vaccinated individuals are far less likely to have severe outcomes. 

Vaccination and mitigation will help keep you, your family, and your community safer.