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Ducey applauds Arizona’s progress as unpublished task force report shows state in COVID-19 ‘red zone’

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PHOENIX (KVOA) - On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey said Arizona is making progress in the state's fight against COVID-19. He pointed to a national map of the 50 states from CNN.

CNN's Coronavirus U.S. Map and Cases (Developed By the Johns Hopkins University)

"Where it's green it's leveling or going down and where it's yellow it's steadying," the governor said. "Arizona is in the green. There aren't many states in the green, this has been a difference in the last week because of the actions Arizonans have taken over the last two weeks."

But the governor's words contrast the science and the data in an unpublished White House Coronavirus Task Force report obtained this week by the Center for Public Integrity. 

The report shows Arizona as one of 18 states in the "Red Zone" showing a small increase in the COVID-19 positive test rates and a jump in the death rate compared to the week before. 

The report suggests governors in these states should limit gatherings to 10 or fewer, close down bars and gyms - which Governor Ducey did through July 27,  and mandate masks statewide, a requirement Arizona doesn't have.

At the news conference, state leaders said 600 frontline workers will be on the ground in Arizona in seven to 10 days to provide crucial help in the pandemic. This group includes 334 critical care or ICU Nurses.

Dr. Cara Christ, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the department will allocate millions of dollars to bring more post-acute care beds to Arizona for patients who can leave the hospital but cannot go home. 

"The department has provided $10 million to expand that post-acute care capacity," Christ said. "We're currently in negotiation of a contract with a skilled nursing facility system."

Gov. Ducey briefly addressed schools reopening during the pandemic.

He said schools will be open this fall. The governor said he's been talking to superintendents and plans to give more guidance on schools next week. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign weighing in on the data reflected in the unpublished COVID-19 White House report.

Biden's Arizona Communications Director, Geoff Burgan, released this statement:

“Arizonans deserve to hear the facts and science on COVID-19 so they can properly take precautions to protect their families. Instead of honest leadership, Donald Trump’s coronavirus cover-up and his refusal to protect Arizona families means that people will continue to needlessly get sick. When Joe Biden is President, he’ll implement an urgent, robust, and professional response to the growing public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Geoff Burgan

Eric Fink

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