SUNDAY FEATURE: Flagstaff doctors assess coronavirus pandemic response in hindsight

On March 5, Dr. Joel Terriquez remembers taking part in a panel in front of a large crowd at the High Country Conference Center.

The panel sat shoulder-to-shoulder and included local experts from Northern Arizona University, Coconino County and the Transnational Genomics Research Institute. Terriquez was invited to take part as an infectious disease doctor with Northern Arizona Healthcare.

None of the experts were predicting how severely the coronavirus would hit northern Arizona just days later.

Based on the best available knowledge at the time, one expert compared the risk of contracting COVID-19 to the risk of driving a car, noting that those risks would increase if the virus were to spread severely through the community. Others cautioned that northern Arizona was not immune to the virus, and encouraged precautions.

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