TUCSON (KVOA) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Governor Doug Ducey and the state's health department have new initiatives to combat the rise in cases.
In an address Wednesday, they focused on the latest efforts to fight the pandemic, including new guidance for how to spend your holidays, with Thanksgiving right around the corner. To view those tips, visit azdhs.gov.
Governor Ducey and the health department said they are doubling down on their efforts to keep Arizonans safe.
Ducey said that the state will provide an additional $25 million to support hospital staff in medical facilities across Arizona.
Ducey also asked Arizonans to increase their efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"I know that these are not easy asks, and I don't want to underestimate how big an ask it is, but it is our ask today," said Ducey.
They are also looking to launch new testing sites and health campaigns at airports with more people expected to be headed to the state during the winter months.
Mask usage was emphasized again after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported new research supporting mask effectiveness.
"We know now that masks provide more protection than previously thought. The new studies recently show that wearing a mask can also protect you from the infectious droplets from other people," said Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Health Department Director.
The public health emergency was announced eight months ago in Arizona and with cases on the rise again Ducey said,
"I know many in the state are asking when will it end? The answer is that's not on the horizon."
The governor says there are two extreme sides regarding the virus. One that wants to lock everything down and one that thinks the virus is a hoax. He said that, he and most Arizonans, are not in either group.
Ducey asked that everyone in Arizona continue to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Arizona reported 3,206 new positive COVID-19 cases and 53 more deaths.
This brought the overall total cases in Arizona to 283,102 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The death toll is 6,365.