PHOENIX — Arizona’s count of known COVID-19 cases has jumped again, a day after Gov. Doug Ducey reversed himself by saying local governments could make wearing face masks mandatory.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 2,519 additional cases as of Wednesday and 32 new deaths. That raised the state’s total to 43,443 with 1,271 deaths.
The increases in cases reported on Thursday broke a record daily high increase of 2,392 reported Tuesday.
Ducey faced pressure as the state became a national virus hotspot, and he said Wednesday that Arizona cities and counties can make wearing face masks mandatory to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Allowing local governments to decide would work better than a statewide mandate, he said.
Ducey previously resisted allowing cities to do more than the state allows to slow the virus spread, saying statewide directives avoid a patchwork of regulations.
Mayors in Phoenix, Tucson and other cities said they would move quickly to require masks.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.