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Posted on: February 18, 2022

COVID-19 Work Session: Cases & Trends, County Response, Contact Tracing

County COVID-19 Update (Banner (Landscape))

At today’s COVID-19 Work Session with the Board of Supervisors, Cochise Health and Social Services (CHSS) staff presented an update on recent COVID-19 cases and trends within Cochise County. Since the last meeting on February 4, Cochise County has seen a slow decline in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Despite the decline, Cochise County remains in high transmission, meaning the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains high. Beginning the week of Jan. 3, 2021, countywide hospitalizations began to steadily decline, however local hospitals continue to operate at 100% of staffed bed capacity. 

“COVID-19 percent positivity is still above 10 percent. It is still too early for individuals and institutions to safely relax their COVID-19 mitigations,” says CHSS Lead Epidemiologist Martha Montaño. It’s recommended to continue to wear your mask, wash your hands, and physical distance.”

COVID-19 Cases and Trends 

COVID-19 case data as of February 16, 2022:

  • 1,776 new cases since Feb. 4, totaling 30,489 confirmed cases to date.
  • 31 new hospitalizations since Feb. 4, totaling 1,279 hospitalizations to date.
  • 18 new confirmed deaths since Feb. 4, totaling 529 deaths to date.
  • 189 new school-related cases since Feb. 4, totaling 1,250 cases since the start of the semester on Jan. 3, 2022.
  • 19 of 65 schools currently meet the “outbreak” definition. 

Targeted Case Investigation and Contact Tracing

On January 24, Public Health Agencies released a joint statement recommending targeted case investigation and contact tracing for lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive individuals, meaning contact tracing will no longer be universal for all positive lab-confirmed tests.

“If you have a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, CHSS will no longer be reaching out to contact trace in the populations that are at lower risk,” says Cochise Health and Social Services Health Director Alicia M. Thompson.

Following the public health recommendation, CHSS has updated its policy to reflect those changes. The policy is effective February 10, 2022. Review Pol-130100.00 – COVID-19 Targeted Case Investigation and Contact Tracing here.

Countywide Response Efforts

During the meeting, CHSS staff presented an in-depth overview of their overall prevention efforts during the third surge of COVID-19, which includes a thorough list of a variety of programs including education, vaccinations, and testing.

Cochise Health and Social Services staff shared sentiments thanking their community partners, partner agencies, and healthcare providers who’ve played an integral role in the county’s COVID-19 response efforts. Throughout the hospitals' surge, CHSS managed daily communication with county hospitals and reported capacity numbers. Cochise County Emergency Management worked closely with CHSS and assisted with the request for State and Federal resources. Efforts resulted in a Paramedic Strike Team of 10 medical personnel and a DOD Team of 7 medical personnel to arrive and assist Canyon Vista Medical Center. 

Public Updates Moving Forward

As agreed upon during the meeting, future COVID-19 Work Session meetings will be held on an “as needed” basis. CHSS will continue to report weekly COVID-19 data on the CHSS Facebook page and webpage. Residents are encouraged to follow CHSS on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 information and safety guidance.

You may view the full meeting presentation in detail and video recording by visiting the Agendas & Minutes site

For assistance regarding COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and safety recommendations, contact Cochise Health and Social Services via email at Vaccine@cochise.az.gov and Publichealth@cochise.az.gov or by calling 520-432-9400, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For additional information about COVID-19 including upcoming vaccine and testing events in Cochise County, please visit www.cochise.az.gov/826/COVID-19-Information. Stay informed on Cochise Health and Social Services news and updates by following www.facebook.com/CochisePublicHealth.  

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