13:01 PM

Cases Are Up, Capacity Is Down, and People Are Nervous: It’s Time to Respect the Virus

A message from our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. James Napoli, M.D.

This pandemic has already caused almost eleven million people to fall ill and has led to more than a half-million deaths worldwide. In Arizona alone, our numbers are disturbing. We have recorded more than 84,000 cases statewide with the majority of them in Maricopa County, and we are closing in on 2,000 deaths across the state. The numbers are continuing to rise. Respecting the virus, by taking every precaution to protect ourselves and others, can actually give us more control over it. 

By respecting the virus, we also directly support our Arizona healthcare providers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona has been working closely with our state hospital leaders and frontline care teams to listen and understand their needs, collaborate on ways we can help, and implement solutions, so their focus can remain on treating Arizonans and saving lives. BCBSAZ is continuing to adapt and ease coverage processes to more quickly get patients to the appropriate site of care and open up hospital capacity for critically ill patients.

Arizona was not impacted as significantly early on as were other parts of the country. There are many ideas about the reasoning behind it. One such thought is the perception by Arizonans that we were safer and precautions were less utilized early on. This virus is spread through both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases which makes the precautions imperative for everyone to follow.

We can all do things to protect ourselves and other Arizonans: wear a mask when you’re out in public, stay six feet away from people when you leave your home, wash your hands and high-touch surfaces frequently, and avoid crowds. We all have a responsibility to respect the virus, protect ourselves, and protect our fellow Arizonans.