Alison Steinbach Arizona Republic
(CNT) City News And Talk #arizona
Arizona reported 975 new COVID-19 cases and 17 new known deaths on Wednesday as new cases and hospitalizations continue gradual increases, but remain far below levels from the summer peak.
Identified cases rose to 233,912 and known deaths were at 5,854, according to the daily report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. The past several weeks have seen relatively higher daily case reports.
The number of patients hospitalized statewide for known or suspected COVID-19 cases was at 832 on Tuesday, up from 777 inpatients on Monday. Tuesday’s 832 inpatients was the highest reported since Aug. 26. At the peak of Arizona’s surge in July, the number of hospitalized patients suspected or confirmed to have the virus exceeded 3,000.
The number of patients with suspected or known COVID-19 in intensive care units across Arizona was at 171 on Tuesday, compared with 170 on Monday and 177 on Sunday, which was the highest it’s been since Sept. 11. The level is far below what it was in July, when ICU beds in use for COVID-19 reached 970.
The number of Arizonans with confirmed and suspected COVID-19 on ventilators was at 91 on Tuesday, the same as Monday. Sunday’s 94 ventilators in use was the highest daily level since Sept. 10. In mid-July, as many as 687 patients across the state with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Wednesday’s dashboard shows 87% of inpatient beds and 83% of ICU beds in use, which includes people being treated for COVID-19 and other patients. COVID-19 patients were using 10% of all inpatient beds and 10% of ICU beds. Overall, 25% of ventilators were in use.
The number of weekly tests conducted dropped significantly in July and into August, after which it began to increase somewhat through September and into October.
Of known test results from last week, 5% have come back positive, according to the state, which has a unique way of calculating percent positivity. Prior to that, percent positivity was at 4% for the six weeks prior, per state data.
Johns Hopkins University calculates Arizona’s seven-day moving average of percent positives at 9.4%. It shows the state’s percent positivity had reached a relative plateau and is now trending slightly upward.
A positivity rate of 5% is considered a good benchmark that the spread of the disease is under control.
ADHS has begun including probable cases as anyone with a positive antigen test, another type of test to determine current infection. Antigen tests (not related to antibody tests) are a newer type of COVID-19 diagnostic test that use a nasal swab or another fluid sample to test for current infection. Results are typically produced within 15 minutes.
A positive antigen test result is considered very accurate, but there’s an increased chance of false-negative results, the Mayo Clinic says. 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.
Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s new numbers:
Reported cases in Arizona: 233,912
Cases increased by 975, or 0.42%, from Tuesday’s 232,937 identified cases since the outbreak began.
Cases by county: 151,527 in Maricopa, 27,128 in Pima, 13,297 in Yuma, 11,538 in Pinal, 6,197 in Navajo, 4,814 in Coconino, 4,223 in Mohave, 3,810 in Apache, 2,961 in Santa Cruz, 2,814 in Yavapai, 2,075 in Cochise, 1,777 in Gila, 1,063 in Graham, 606 in La Paz and 82 in Greenlee, according to state numbers.
The rate of cases per 100,000 people is highest in Yuma County, followed by Santa Cruz, Navajo and Apache counties. The rate in Yuma County is 5,782 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the U.S. average rate is 2,474 cases per 100,000 people, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Navajo Nation reported 10,999 cases and 574 confirmed deaths as of Tuesday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Arizona Department of Corrections said 2,621 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 992 in Tucson; 40,756 inmates statewide have been tested. A total of 729 prison staff members have self-reported testing positive, the state corrections department said. Eighteen incarcerated people in Arizona have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19, with 10 additional deaths under investigation.
While race/ethnicity is unknown for 30% of cases statewide, 31% of cases are Hispanic or Latino, 26% are white, 6% are Native American, 3% are Black and 1% are Asian/Pacific Islander.
Laboratories have completed 1,657,389 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, 10.4% of which have come back positive. That number now includes both PCR and antigen testing. The percentage of positive tests had increased since mid-May but began decreasing in July. It was at 4% for six weeks before hitting 5% last week. The state numbers leave out data from labs that do not report electronically.
Arizona, as of Tuesday, had one of the higher overall rates of COVID-19 infection in the country — 12th behind North Dakota, Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Iowa, Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina, according to the CDC. Arizona’s infection rate is 3,234 cases per 100,000 people, the CDC said. The national average is 2,474 cases per 100,000 people, though the rates in states hard-hit early on in the pandemic may be an undercount due to a lack of available testing in March and April.
Reported deaths: 5,854 known deaths
On Wednesday, 17 new known deaths were reported.
County deaths: 3,532 in Maricopa, 635 in Pima, 353 in Yuma, 236 in Navajo, 230 in Mohave, 217 in Pinal, 168 in Apache, 147 in Coconino, 87 in Yavapai, 73 in Cochise, 66 in Gila, 65 in Santa Cruz, 27 in Graham, 16 in La Paz and fewer than three in Greenlee.
People aged 65 and older made up 4,162 of the 5,854 deaths, or 71%.
While race/ethnicity is unknown for 11% of deaths, 42% of those who died were white, 30% were Hispanic or Latino, 11% were Native American, 3% were Black and 1% were Asian/Pacific Islander, the state data show.
The global death toll on Wednesday was 1,126,382 and the U.S. had the highest death count of any country in the world, at 221,122, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s death total of 5,854 deaths represents 2.6% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. as of Wednesday.
The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona was 81 per 100,000 people as of Tuesday, according to the CDC, putting it 10th in the country in a state ranking that separates New York City and New York state. The U.S. average is 66 deaths per 100,000 people, the CDC says.
Behind New York City, at 285 deaths per 100,000 people, the CDC put the highest death rates ahead of Arizona as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Mississippi, the District of Columbia and New York state.