1,804 new instances, 25 new deaths

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Arizona reported around 1,800 new COVID-19 cases and 25 new known deaths on Sunday.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker, Arizona’s 7-day average for new cases was ranked 19th among all states on Saturday, after beating first and second places for most of January had occupied.

The state’s rate of new positive cases in the past seven days was 20.8 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. New York City was the first with 50.9 cases per 100,000. The US average for new cases was 20.6 cases per 100,000 people.

The state’s average daily COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people over the past seven days ranked third in the nation as of Saturday, according to the CDC.

Arizona’s newly reported 25 deaths brought the state’s known COVID-19 number to 15,505. 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 807,967 COVID-19 cases have been identified across the state. Relatively few cases were reported in February.

The Arizona data dashboard shows that 88% of all ICU beds and 88% of all inpatient beds in the state were in use on Saturday, with 29% of ICU beds and 19% of ICU beds out of COVID-19 -Patients were occupied. Nationwide, 224 beds were available in the intensive care unit and 1,057 beds outside the intensive care unit.

Hospital admissions for the disease have gradually declined for over five weeks but remain at relatively high levels.

The number of patients hospitalized for known or suspected COVID-19 cases in Arizona was 1,598 on Saturday, compared to 1,650 on Friday and below the record of 5,082 inpatients on Jan. 11. By comparison, the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day during the summer surge was 3,517 on July 13.

The number of patients with suspected or known COVID-19 in intensive care units across Arizona was 501 on Saturday, compared to 517 on Friday 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 286 on Saturday, compared to 294 on Friday and below the record high of 821 on Jan. 13. During the summer surge, July 16 was the highest day for ventilator use with 687 patients.

As of Saturday, 1,187 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.

A healthcare provider cares for a patient who will be intubated in one of the COVID-19 units at Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix on January 14, 2021.

The percent positivity, which relates to the percentage of positive COVID-19 diagnostic tests, has decreased but remains above ideal.

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 with 5% as of Sunday. 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 for Phase 1B priority individuals in several countries, and for individuals aged 65 and over in most locations. Governor Doug Ducey said the vaccine was free for everyone.

More than 1 million people across the state had received at least one dose of vaccine as of Sunday, with approximately 392,417 people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.

What you should know about Sunday numbers

Reported cases in Arizona: 807.967.

Cases since the outbreak began increased by 1,804, or 0.22%, of the 806,163 cases identified on Saturday. 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: 504,992 in Maricopa, 108,341 in Pima, 45,439 in Pinal, 36,286 in Yuma, 20,868 in Mohave, 16,895 in Yavapai, 16,256 in Coconino, 15,453 in Navajo, 11,020 in Cochise, 10,268 in Apache, 7,606 in Santa Cruz, 6,351 in Gila 5,261 in Graham, 2,379 in La Paz and 552 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 Santa Cruz, Apache, Navajo and Graham counties. The rate in Yuma County is 15,779.5 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the average U.S. rate since the pandemic began was 8,377 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC on Saturday.

Reina Fernandez vaccinates a patient on February 10, 2021 at the NOAH's Venado Valley Health Center, 20440 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona.

The Navajo Nation reported a total of 29,509 cases and 1,142 confirmed deaths on Saturday. 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 Friday, 11,895 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19, including 2,236 in Tucson, 2,005 in Yuma, 1,974 in Eyman, 1,307 in Lewis and 1,155 in Douglas; 43,595 inmates were tested nationwide. A total of 2,649 prison employees have reported positive tests themselves, the department said. 35 people incarcerated in Arizona have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19. 17 other 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 3,693,817 individual diagnostic tests for COVID-19, of which 14.6% came back 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.

Check: Volunteers from Ariz. At COVID-19 vaccination stations, people are often shot at the end of the shift

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 a doctor may recommend a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm a negative antigen test result.

Arizona on Saturday had the sixth highest overall case rate in the country since Jan. 21, 2020. According to Arizona, 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.

According to the CDC, the infection rate in Arizona is 11,048 cases per 100,000 people. The national average is 8,377 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: 15,505

Deaths by county: 8,835 in Maricopa, 2,149 in Pima, 771 in Yuma, 742 in Pinal, 625 in Mohave, 478 in Navajo, 448 in Yavapai, 365 in Apache, 307 in Coconino, 262 in Cochise, 209 in Gila, 166 in Santa Cruz ( 167 were reported on Saturday), 71 in Graham, 69 in La Paz and eight in Greenlee.

People aged 65 and over accounted for 11,626 of the 15,505 deaths, or 75%. After that, 14% 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 state data show.

The global death toll on Saturday morning was 2,463,048, and the US had the highest death toll of any country in the world at 497,957, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s total of 15,505 deaths equals 3.1% of the COVID-19 deaths in the US on Sunday.

The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona since the pandemic began was 211 per 100,000 people on Saturday, according to the CDC, placing it in sixth place in the country on a state ranking that separates New York City from New York state. The US average on Saturday was 148 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.

New York City had the highest death rate with 342 deaths per 100,000 people. This was followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Mississippi.

Reach the reporter at chelsea.curtis@arizonarepublic.com or follow her on Twitter @curtis_chels.

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