1,310 new instances, 43 new recognized deaths
Arizona reported 1,310 new COVID-19 cases and 43 new known deaths on Wednesday as metrics like hospital stays and percent positivity continued to improve.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker, Arizona’s 7-day average for new cases was Tuesday 15th among all states, having ranked first and second for most of January .
The state’s rate of new positive cases in the past seven days was 21.3 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. New York City was the first with 50 cases per 100,000. The US mean for new cases was 19.3 cases per 100,000 people.
The state’s average daily COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people over the past seven days ranked sixth in the nation on Tuesday, according to the CDC.
Arizona’s newly reported 43 deaths brought the known COVID-19 number to 15,693. The state passed 15,000 deaths on February 17, after recording 14,000 deaths on February 6 and 13,000 deaths on January 29, just one week after 12,000 and two weeks after 11,000 deaths. The state exceeded 10,000 known deaths on January 9. Arizona’s first known death from the disease occurred in mid-March.
Many of the deaths occurred days or weeks earlier as delays were reported and the death certificate matched.
In just over a year since the first Arizona case was announced, a total of 811,968 COVID-19 cases have been identified across the state. Relatively few cases were reported in February.
The Arizona data dashboard shows that 85% of all ICU beds and 88% of all inpatient beds in the state were in use on Tuesday, with 25% of ICU beds and 17% of ICU beds outside of COVID-19 -Patients were occupied. Nationwide, 263 beds were available in the intensive care unit and 1,037 beds outside the intensive care unit.
Hospital admissions for the disease have declined for about six weeks but remain at relatively high levels.
The number of patients hospitalized for known or suspected COVID-19 cases in Arizona stood at 1,449 as of Tuesday, compared to 1,515 inpatients on Monday and well below the record of 5,082 inpatients on Jan. 11 Day during the summer ascent on July 13 was 3,517.
The number of suspected or known COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across Arizona was 430 as of Tuesday, up from 447 on Monday, and below the record high of 1,183 on Jan. 11. During the summer surge in mid-July, the intensive care unit was on use for COVID-19, which peaked at 970.
Arizonans with confirmed and suspected COVID-19 on ventilators hit 253 on Tuesday, compared to 266 on Monday and well below the record high of 821 on Jan. 13. During the summer surge, July 16 was the highest day for patient ventilator use at 687.
As of Tuesday, 1,208 patients were in the emergency room for COVID-19, down from the December 29th record of 2,341 positive or suspected COVID-19 patients in emergency rooms across the state.
The percent positivity, which relates to the percentage of positive COVID-19 diagnostic tests, has decreased, but varies somewhat depending on the type of measurement.
Last week, Arizona’s percent positivity stayed at 9% for the second straight week, according to the state, which offers a unique way to calculate percent positivity. According to government data, the percent positivity was between 4% and 6% for much of August, September, and October.
Johns Hopkins University calculates the seven-day Arizona moving average as a percentage of positive results as of Wednesday at 5%. It shows that the state’s percentage positivity peaked at 24.2% in December.
A positivity rate of 5% or less is considered a good measure of whether the spread of the disease is under control.
Arizona began its first COVID-19 vaccinations for Phase 1A in the week of December 14, but the process has been slow due to limited vaccine supplies. Registration is available in priority countries or for all Phase 1B individuals and in most locations for individuals aged 65 and over. Governor Doug Ducey said the vaccine was free for everyone.
As of Wednesday, more than 1.1 million people across the country had received at least one dose of vaccine, with approximately 438,500 people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.
What you should know about Wednesday’s numbers
Reported Cases in Arizona: 811,968.
Cases since the outbreak began increased 1,310, or 0.16%, of the 810,658 cases identified on Tuesday. These daily cases are grouped by the date they are reported to the Arizona Department of Health, not the date the tests were performed.
Cases by county: 507,480 in Maricopa, 108,772 in Pima, 45,865 in Pinal, 36,356 in Yuma, 20,992 in Mohave, 16,975 in Yavapai, 16,360 in Coconino, 15,513 in Navajo, 11,100 in Cochise, 10,357 in Apache, 7,611 in Santa Cruz, 6,366 in Gila in Graham , 2,383 in La Paz and 557 in Greenlee, according to state figures.
The rate of fall per 100,000 people since the pandemic began is highest in Yuma County, followed by Apache, Santa Cruz, Navajo and Graham counties. The rate in Yuma County is 15,810 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the US median rate since the pandemic began was 8,432 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC on Tuesday.
The Navajo Nation reported 29,576 cases and a total of 1,152 confirmed deaths on Tuesday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Tribal leaders suspended the lockdowns the weekend after January 25th, although a stay at home and night curfew order remained in place.
The Arizona Department of Justice reported that as of Tuesday, 11,932 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19, including 2,239 in Tucson, 2,005 in Yuma, 1,978 in Eyman, 1,310 in Lewis and 1,158 in Douglas; 43,614 inmates across the state were tested. A total of 2,664 prison staff reported positive tests. 35 people incarcerated in Arizona have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19. Another 18 deaths are being investigated.
Race / ethnicity is unknown for 18% of all COVID-19 cases across the state, but 37% of people are white, 30% are Hispanic or Latin American, 5% are Native American, 3% are black, and 1% are Asian -pacific islanders.
Of those who tested positive since the Arizona pandemic began, 16% were younger than 20, 44% were 20-44, 15% were 45-54, 12% were 55-64, and 13% were over 65 years of age.
The laboratories have performed 3,717,550 diagnostic tests on individuals for COVID-19, of which 14.5% were positive. This number includes both PCR and antigen testing. The percentage of positive tests had increased since mid-May but began to decrease in July and remained constant at 4% per state for several weeks. For the last full week it was 9%. The status numbers omit data from laboratories that do not report electronically.
The Arizona Department of Health includes likely cases such as people with a positive antigen test, another type of test used to determine current infection. Antigen tests (not related to antibody tests) are newer diagnostic COVID-19 tests that use a nasal swab or other fluid sample to test for current infections. Results are usually generated within 15 minutes.
A positive antigen test result is considered very accurate, but there is an increased chance of false negative results, says the Mayo Clinic. Depending on the situation, Mayo Clinic officials say that a doctor may recommend a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm a negative antigen test result.
Arizona had the sixth highest overall case rate in the country since Jan. 21, 2020. Arizona says North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah and Tennessee rank ahead of Arizona in cases per 100,000 people since the pandemic began, the CDC said.
According to the CDC, the infection rate in Arizona is 11,121 cases per 100,000 people. The national average is 8,432 cases per 100,000 people, although rates in states that were badly affected at the start of the pandemic may be undercounted in March and April due to a lack of available tests.
Reported deaths in Arizona: 15,693
Deaths by counties: 8,938 in Maricopa, 2,186 in Pima, 774 in Yuma, 754 in Pinal, 634 in Mohave, 484 in Navajo, 450 in Yavapai, 372 in Apache, 307 in Coconino, 264 in Cochise, 211 in Gila, 167 in Santa Cruz, 72 in Graham, 71 in La Paz and nine in Greenlee.
People aged 65 and over accounted for 11,763 of the 15,693 deaths, or 75%. After that, 15% of the deaths were in the 55-64 age group, 6% were 45-54 years old, and 4% were 20-44 years old.
While race / ethnicity was unknown for 7% of the deaths, 49% of those who died were white, 29% Hispanic or Latin American, 8% were Native American, 3% were black, and 1% were Asian Pacific islanders.
The global death toll was 2,487,890 as of Wednesday morning, and the US had the highest death toll of any country in the world at 502,698, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s total of 15,693 deaths represents 3.1% of the COVID-19 deaths in the United States on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona since the pandemic began was 212 per 100,000 people on Tuesday, according to the CDC, ranking sixth in the country on a state ranking separating New York City from New York state. The US average on Monday was 150 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.
New York City had the highest death rate with 344 deaths per 100,000 people. This was followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Mississippi.
Reach the reporter at Alison.Steinbach@arizonarepublic.com or at 602-444-4282. Follow her on Twitter @alisteinbach.
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