DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado is one of the few states in the West that continues to have a downward trend of COVID-19 cases.
In the neighboring states of Utah and Arizona, coronavirus cases are spiking.
“Most of us in public health are very worried about it. It’s a very concerning issue for all of us,” said Dr. Purnima Madhivanan, an associate professor in Health Promotion Sciences at the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at University of Arizona.
Most businesses in Arizona opened again by the middle of May and there are few requirements to wear masks.
“When I go out, it’s amazing to see how relaxed and how normal everything looks,” Madhivanan said. “It’s literally like pre-COVID times. Hardly anybody wearing masks…sitting in the coffee shops. There’s no concept of physical distancing and that’s really concerning for me.”
Arizona now has one of the highest rates of positive COVID-19 test results in the country, at 16.6 percent. Utah is also in the top five, at 8.6 percent. Colorado is at 3.6 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“I think it’s concerning,” said Dr. Sankar Swaminathan, University of Utah School of Medicine Chief of Infectious Diseases.
“The percentage of the tests that are turning up positives is significantly higher than it was earlier,” Swaminathan said.
Many businesses in Utah reopened by the middle of May and Swaminathan said some people wear masks, while many don’t.
“I think Colorado was very slow and methodical about how it started to open up,” said Madhivanan, from Tucson.
That’s one reason why public health experts believe Colorado continues to have the coronavirus under control. Now, the goal is to keep it that way.