The Verde communities have seen a spike in COVID cases over the past three months, according to data compiled by VerdeCares, the local volunteer health assistance agency.

The Arizona Department of Health Services COVID information dashboard shows 105 cases reported from the 85263 Zip Code between Sept. 30, 2021, and Jan. 6, 2022.

Health officials report the Omicron variant is highly contagious with flu-like symptoms for most people. It is treatable; however, shortage of testing and therapeutics (treatments) have resulted in new guidelines as to who gets what treatments during hospitalization.

VerdeCares Executive Director Vicki Beseke tells residents there is no need for fear or panic, just follow some basic guidelines to stay safe and healthy.

Be careful when around others, keep groups small and preferably hold events outside (ventilation is an excellent deterrent). Those with symptoms should contact their doctor.

Many people can stay home with prescriptions and quarantine for five days after the onset of symptoms (a new guideline). If sick, stay at home and follow the doctor’s instructions.

Those who have recently been with someone who has tested positive should contact their doctor’s office for information on where to go if testing is needed. Home COVID tests are in short supply and not as accurate with the Omicron variant.

Researchers who forecast COVID's impact are pushing the peak in this area from mid-January to the end of January.

Verdecares.org has additional information about the number of COVID cases in Arizona and the world, click on COVID-19 Stats Snapshot.

VerdeCares is helping neighbors by running errands for prescriptions, groceries and additional meal services for those in need and during quarantine.

“We exist because of you and for you,” Beseke said. “Think of us as your resource partner here to help you when you need it.

“You encourage and inspire us to do better for you. Thank you to all who volunteer with VerdeCares giving of their time to help neighbors in need. Thank you to all who support our mission here in the Verdes.”

To volunteer, or for more information about the services available to Verde residents, please contact the VerdeCares Office at 480-471-8944. Office hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Help is available 24/7 by calling 480-540-1312.