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According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the number of reported cases of COVID-19 has tripled in Fountain Hills over the past month, moving from 33 on June 2 to 106 on July 2.

The local uptick mirrors a trend seen throughout Maricopa County, Arizona and many parts of the country, leading to Governor Doug Ducey last week updating the Executive Order to prohibit large gatherings, cease the issuance of new special event licenses and pause the operations of bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing rentals.

Numbers of reported cases surged in the weeks following the Memorial Day holiday, when Arizona rolled back many COVID-19 safety measures. As a result of those higher cases, Ducey elected to make face covering mandates a decision for local governments and, while the Fountain Hills Town Council voted 4-3 to not require face masks, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors overrode that decision within hours, making face coverings mandatory within the county beginning June 20.

Data

The Arizona Department of Health Services offers up-to-date data for Arizona COVID-19 cases (azdhs.gov).

While Fountain Hills’ numbers have spiked in recent weeks, the same can be said for the entire county.

As of July 1, ADHS listed 84,092 total reported cases of COVID-19 in Maricopa County from 721,985 tests. Of that number, there were 1,720 deaths. Based on those figures, about 1 in 49 reported cases results in death, or about three times the number from the seasonal flu.

It should be noted that the results from COVID-19 are this high following the various restrictions, precautions and even a national shutdown that have taken place in an effort to combat the virus.

Narrowing the scope, the number of new reported COVID-19 cases for Maricopa County on July 1 was 4,878 with 88 deaths, though numbers for any particular day typically rise within a week as additional tests/deaths for a given date are reported.

Looking at the big picture for Maricopa County, the largest age group affected by COVID-19 is 20-44 years, with 41,671 cases. Those in the 45-54 age range are the second highest at 12,920 cases, with 65-plus being the third highest at 10,023.

Of the reported cases in Maricopa County, 81 percent of those who test positive report they have never had a chronic medical condition.

Impact

As reported in the July 1 edition of The Times, Governor Ducey’s latest action to combat COVID-19 took effect June 29 and, unless extended, will expire on July 27.

This Executive Order prohibits mass gatherings statewide, even if appropriate physical distancing is possible, and organized events of more than 50 people are prohibited.

The Executive Order enables local governing jurisdictions, such as the city, town or county, to approve events on the condition of meeting safety precautions, such as physical distancing.

The following establishments must cease operations through July 27:

*Bars with a series 6 or 7 liquor license from the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (these entities may provide take-out and curbside service);

*Indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers;

*Indoor movie theaters;

*Water parks;

*Tubing operators.

After July 27, businesses seeking to resume operations must demonstrate compliance with public health guidance as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Under the Executive Order, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control shall also cease issuing special event licenses for the period ending July 27.

Governor Ducey also signed an Executive Order delaying the first day of school for in-person learning until August 17, 2020. Schools will be able to conduct distance learning should they choose before then.