Coronavirus: Arizona is leading the world in the rate of new cases

Seana Smith
·2 min read

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads at an alarming rate across Arizona, the state now leads the world in COVID-19 cases per capita.

According to, a tracking site that compares outbreaks worldwide using data from Johns Hopkins University, Arizona has the highest number of new COVID-19 cases per day when adjusted for population. The state’s current seven-day average is 131.6 new cases per day per 100,000 people.

“We are in the thick of this crisis,” Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, Emergency Medicine Physician and former candidate for Congress in Arizona's 6th District told Yahoo Finance. “Times are very scary. Health workers are exhausted and our resources are being used to full capacity.”

Cases are up across the country. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
Cases are up across the country. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

Arizona’s major hospital systems have urged Gov. Doug Ducey to take additional actions to curb the spread of COVID-19, including calls for a statewide mask mandate. But despite their pleas, the governor has refused. In fact, in his State of the State address this week, he defended the state’s response to the pandemic, saying Arizona is on the “right path.”

“The critics can say what they want, but the path I’ve outlined is the right path for Arizona,” said Ducey. “I’m not going to hand over the keys to a small group of mayors that have expressed every intention of locking down their cities.”

As of Wednesday, about two-thirds of the state’s intensive care beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients, and only 7% of ICU beds across the state were available.

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If government officials don’t act soon, health care experts worry the virus will continue to spread at an unprecedented pace. That in turn would put more pressure on an already stressed health care system, and could ultimately force hospitals to ration life-saving care.

“The hospitals are being overrun,” said Tipirneni. “There's no doubt about it.”

Seana Smith anchors Yahoo Finance Live’s 3-5 p.m. ET program. Follow her on Twitter @SeanaNSmith