2,047 new circumstances, 59 new identified deaths


Arizona reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases and 59 new known deaths on Saturday as hospital admissions for the disease fell slightly and hospital numbers were declining for more than five weeks.

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 18th among all states on Friday, 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 21.8 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. New York City was the first with 51.1 cases per 100,000. The US mean for new cases was 21.7 cases per 100,000 people.

The state’s average daily COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people over the past seven days ranked fourth in the nation on Friday, according to the CDC.

Arizona’s newly reported 59 deaths brought the state’s known COVID-19 number to 15,480. The state passed 15,000 deaths Wednesday 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 806,163 COVID-19 cases have been identified across the state.

The Arizona data dashboard shows that 86% of all ICU beds and 88% of all inpatient beds in the state were in use on Monday, with 39% of ICU beds and 19% of ICU beds outside of COVID-19 -Patients were occupied. Nationwide, 247 beds were available in the intensive care unit and 1,039 beds outside the intensive care unit.

The number of patients hospitalized for known or suspected COVID-19 cases in Arizona was 1,650 on Friday, compared to 1,738 on Thursday 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 517 on Friday, compared to 563 on Thursday 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 330 on Friday, up from 334 on Thursday, and below the record high of 821 on Jan. 13. During the summer surge, July 16 was the main day for ventilator use with 687 patients.

As of Friday, there were 1,278 patients in the emergency room for COVID-19, which was lower than 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 remains above ideal.

Last week, Arizona’s percent positivity was 9%. The previous week, it was 12% according to the state, which is 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 Arizona moving average for seven days as a percentage of positive results with 5% starting Saturday. It shows that the state’s percentage positivity peaked at 24.2% in December.

A positivity rate of 5% 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.

By Friday, more than 1 million people across the country had received at least one dose of vaccine, with about 353,800 people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.

What you should know about Saturday’s numbers

Reported cases in Arizona: 806.163.

Cases since the outbreak began increased by 2,047, or 0.25%, from the 804,116 cases identified on Friday. 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: 503,686 in Maricopa, 108,094 in Pima, 45,434 in Pinal, 36,252 in Yuma, 20,812 in Mohave, 16,869 in Yavapai, 16,209 in Coconino, 15,448 in Navajo, 10,980 in Cochise, 10,244 in Apache, 7,609 in Santa Cruz, 6,342 in Gila 5,251 in Graham, 2,379 in La Paz and 551 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 15,765 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the US median rate since the pandemic began was 8,355 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC on Friday.

The Navajo Nation reported 29,464 cases and a total of 1,138 confirmed deaths on Friday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

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 3,683,111 diagnostic tests on individuals for COVID-19, of which 14.6% 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 a type of COVID-19 diagnostic test that uses a nasal swab or other fluid sample to test for the current infection. 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 had the sixth highest total case rate in the country since January 21, 2020 on Friday. According to Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah and Tennessee are ahead of Arizona the CDC according to cases per 100,000 people before the pandemic began.

According to the CDC, the infection rate in Arizona is 11,021 cases per 100,000 people. The national average is 8,355 cases per 100,000 people, although rates in states that were severely 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: 15,480

Deaths by county: 8,816 in Maricopa, 2,146 in Pima, 770 in Yuma, 742 in Pinal, 625 in Mohave, 478 in Navajo, 448 in Yavapai, 365 in Apache, 306 in Coconino, 260 in Cochise, 209 in Gila, 167 in Santa Cruz, 71 in Graham, 69 in La Paz and eight in Greenlee.

People aged 65 and over accounted for 11,604 of the 15,480 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 was 2,454,343 as of Saturday morning, and the US had the highest death toll of any country in the world at 495,816, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s total of 15,480 deaths represents 3.1% of the COVID-19 deaths in the US on Saturday.

The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona since the pandemic began was 209 per 100,000 people on Friday, according to the CDC, placing it in seventh place in the country on a state ranking that separates New York City from New York state. The US average on Friday was 148 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.

New York City had the highest death rate with 341 deaths per 100,000 people. This was followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Mississippi and Connecticut.

Reach the reporter at bfrank@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-8529. Follow her on Twitter @brieannafrank.

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