Fire chief says omicron COVID-19 variant still a major threat


Chief of the Chandler Fire Department Tom Dwiggins said that COVID-19 is still there.
“We’ve had about 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 per week in Maricopa County for the past four weeks,” Dwiggins said.

At a recent meeting, Dwiggins talked about COVID-19, avian or bird flu, and flu in general. He did this at the request of Councilman O.D. Harris. He said that the rate of happiness has mostly stayed around 12%.

“However, because people can test at home, very few people are telling the state about positive tests with few or no symptoms, and even fewer people are telling the state about negative tests, so the only useful information we have now comes from our hospitals,” Dwiggins said.

The chief pointed out that the number of COVID-positive patients in Arizona ERs was close to 20% in November of 2020 and 2021, but there was a small spike that only went up to 7% in May of this year and another small spike that only went up to 2.5% the week of October 30.

He said that our hospitals are not too full. “I also looked at Chandler zip codes, and the rate at which our communities are growing is low.”

Dwiggins said that, in terms of the flu in general, January is usually the worst month for it. But he did show that so far this fall and winter, Arizona has had more cases than its own five-year average.
Health officials all over Arizona have told people to get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, as well as flu shots.

Dwiggins said that vaccinations and other health precautions can stop COVID-19 from spreading and lessen how bad the illness is.

“It’s all the things we’ve been talking about for the past three years, like washing your hands and using hand sanitizer,” Dwiggins said.

Dwiggins said that there have been no cases of people getting the H5N1 virus, which is the bird flu. Only one American has gotten it, and that person, who lives in Colorado, got better.

About 30 Canadian geese were found dead near a lake near McQueen and Frye roads in Chandler. They had died from bird flu.


WHO says there are more than 500 different types of Omicron in circulation.

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