TUCSON (KVOA) – Arizona can expect more cases of the COVID Delta variant in the coming months, according to some local health experts.
The virus is sending quite a few people to the hospital, and experts said it will cause major problems this winter.
The rise in cases will not be the same as last winter, according to health officials, but Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, said, “I expect we will probably really struggle by March when the time comes to our hospital care. “
Humble also said the number of COVID-19 cases is trending upwards.
“I don’t know what to attribute to this other than saying that our vaccinations are simply inadequate in our state’s adult population,” said Humble.
Arizona has a vaccination rate of 63 percent.
More than 4 million Arizonans have received at least one dose and more than 3.5 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated.
An infectious disease doctor at El Rio Clinic said the Delta variant was causing problems and filling hospital beds.
“You are dealing with a strain of the delta variant of the COVID vaccine that is highly contagious and can cause more morbidity and mortality,” said Dr. Sudha Nagelingen.
Both humble and Dr. Nagleingen added that the majority of people hospitalized with the Delta strain are unvaccinated.
“It really leaves fewer resources for people who have other infections or who need the intensive care unit for a cardiac event,” said Dr. Nagelingen.
Humble said the unvaccinated people made up their minds and rolled the dice.
“It’s a choice they make at this point, and unfortunately it’s a choice that affects the lives of other people, especially those who are immunocompromised and vaccinated,” said Humble.
Humble’s advice to cut the numbers, get vaccinated, wear masks, and continue to practice social distancing.
He also believes parents will vaccinate their children between the ages of five and eleven in November and hopefully the numbers will go down.