It Has Been Two Years Since The First COVID-19 Case Was Reported in Arizona


Sanaya Gupta

On Jan. 26, 2020, an Arizona State University student who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China was confirmed to have the first case of COVID-19 in Arizona. When the first case was confirmed, COVID did not even have a name. It was known only as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. 

This first case marked a changing point for many. COVID started to spread rapidly in Arizona in March 2020. Schools, workplaces and businesses all shut down and suddenly everything was online. It is safe to say COVID pressed pause on everyone’s lives.

Now it is January 2022. In total, Arizona has had 1.18 million COVID cases and 25,932 deaths. 11.1 million vaccines have been given. 58.6 percent of Arizona’s population is fully vaccinated.

We are currently in the midst of an increase in COVID cases due to the Omicron variant. In just this week, Arizona has seen 483 deaths. 

This surge has left many schools dealing with staff shortages. There have also been many student absences during this surge of the Omicron variant. reports that at the Tucson Unified School District, 84 percent of students were in attendance on Jan. 7, 2022 compared to the 91 percent on Jan. 7, 2019.

Executive director of Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, Dr. Joshua LaBaer, says, “In my career as a physician and as a medical researcher, this is the first time that I’ve ever seen a new disease enter the pantheon of human diseases that has had such an incredibly profound effect on the health of so many people.”