By Mattysen Short, Correspondent
Editor’s Note: The data cited in this article was current as of April 23rd, 2021.
As of Apr. 23rd, 2021, there have been about 856,000 cases of the coronavirus reported in the State of Arizona since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Data Dashboard, there have been 17,221 COVID-19 related deaths in the state.
The current seven-day-average for daily new COVID-19 cases is 647. Ariz. Continues to maintain lower case numbers since the seven-day-average fell below 1,000 daily new cases on Mar. 13th, 2021.
As of April 23rd, 2021, 39.1% (2.8M people) of the Ariz. population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 28.6% (2.1M people) of the population has been fully vaccinated. New York Times reports that in Yavapai County, 30% of adults ages 18 and older are fully inoculated.
Updated Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines consider someone fully protected two weeks after they have received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which ERAU Prescott administered in its campus clinics, was briefly on pause due to blood clots that affected six women across the country after getting the vaccine. As of Friday, April 23rd, the J&J shot is back in use after reapproval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Both the State of Arizona and Yavapai County, the county to which Embry-Riddle Prescott belongs, are offering vaccinations to all people over the age of 18. This means that almost all Embry-Riddle Prescott students are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine with the only exception being those who are under the age of 18.
Yavapai County’s current two-week test positivity rate is now 3.9%, lower compared to the 5.1% that that figure was two weeks ago. Prescott contributed six new cases and Prescott Valley has contributed two new cases on April 23rd; these numbers are lower than they have typically been over the last couple of months.
Embry-Riddle Prescott’s current COVID-19 case numbers are still relatively low, reporting 10 cases in isolation and 691 students or faculty fully vaccinated. 10 cases is nevertheless the highest number of active cases Prescott has had in 2021.
The vaccination number has not changed in the past two weeks, likely due to both the pause of the Johnson and Johnson vaccination which the school was offering and the 28 day period in which most students who got vaccinated off campus have to wait between the two doses. This number is expected to rise in the next couple of weeks as Yavapai County opened vaccinations to all adults just over four weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Daytona Beach campus’ vaccination count surpassed Prescott’s for the first time, with 758 community members now bearing the “All Clear” pass there as of Friday.
As vaccines roll out and case numbers drop, society should begin moving back to “normal” but that can not happen if preventative measures aren’t taken. The university continues to advise social distancing and wearing masks in accordance with CDC guidelines, and asks that students get vaccinated as soon as possible.