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Don’t be so quick to label Arizona a new COVID-19 hot spot | READER COMMENTARY

People line up to get tested for COVID-19 at a drive through testing site hosted by the Puente Movement migrant justice organization Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. Latinos are especially vulnerable to infection because they tend to live in tight quarters with multiple family members and have jobs that expose them to others. They also have a greater incidence of health conditions like diabetes that put them at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Matt York)
People line up to get tested for COVID-19 at a drive through testing site hosted by the Puente Movement migrant justice organization Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. Latinos are especially vulnerable to infection because they tend to live in tight quarters with multiple family members and have jobs that expose them to others. They also have a greater incidence of health conditions like diabetes that put them at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Matt York) (Matt York/AP)

As a longtime subscriber to The Baltimore Sun, I was disappointed by recent reporting on COVID-19, which leads by claiming that “Arizona, Florida are reporting record spikes of in COVID 19 cases” as Maryland’s continue to drop (”How do Maryland’s coronavirus trends stack up to other states'? Things look good so far, but danger isn’t over,” June 22).

It is interesting for us in Arizona to note how we have suddenly received so much national media attention. We have had more testing followed by more cases. Little else is reported. To date, hospitals still have available beds and ICU beds in Arizona. Doctors are still conducting elective surgeries. Deaths and hospitalizations per capita are still lower than in Maryland.

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A national standardized form of reporting COVID-19, preferably using deaths per capita, would be more helpful. Not knowing how many people who contracted COVID-19 also suffered from metabolic syndrome further muddies the waters. Without a frank discussion of the poor general state of our citizens’ health, the picture will not become any clearer.

The data needs to be more transparent. We have a long way to go before we really know what is going on, if we are to continue to trust reporting on COVID-19.

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Anne Groth, Tucson, Ariz.

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