COVID test

The Pima County Health Department and Paradigm Laboratories are offering free COVID-19 tests at the Kino Event Center located at 2805 E. Ajo Way.

PHOENIX — Pima and Coconino counties are again at substantial risk for the spread of COVID-19.

More than 100 of every 100,000 residents are testing positive for the virus, new data Tuesday from the Department of Health Services show.

But don't look for restrictions on businesses to be reimposed.

Under the rules adopted by the state agency, having even one of three factors in the substantial range precluded the opening of certain businesses including movie theaters and fitness centers. All three had to be at least in the moderate range.

But state Health Director Cara Christ will not apply the same rules in this case or order any businesses closed, saying that the overall situation in Arizona is better than it was in June and July, after Gov. Doug Ducey removed many restrictions on business operations.

The agency also said there are "strict mitigation strategies" designed to help prevent another spike, including masks at restaurants when people are not "actively eating or drinking," limitations on occupancy at bars which operate as restaurants, and gyms allowed to operate at only 25% capacity.

And the agency also cites what it says is broad access to testing, with fast turnaround results, and enhanced contact tracing by the state and counties.

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