Stephanie Innes Arizona Republic
(CNT) City News And Talk #arizona
Arizona’s COVID-19 cases rose by 1,158 and 16 new known deaths were reported on Tuesday as new cases continue upward trends, though measures remain far below levels from the summer peak.
The past several weeks have seen relatively higher daily case reports as the virus spreads at its fastest rate in Arizona since June.
Arizona’s rate of new cases over the past week is below the rates in 35 other states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 tracker. The Arizona rate for the prior seven days as of Monday was 14 new cases per 100,000 people. In North Dakota, the rate was 105.3 per 100,000 people.
Identified cases in Arizona rose to 240,122 on Tuesday and known deaths were at 5,891, according to the daily report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The number of patients hospitalized statewide for known or suspected COVID-19 cases was at 861 on Monday, which is the highest number 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 187 on Monday. Friday’s 191 ICU beds in use was the highest level since Sept. 9. 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 100 on Monday, 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.
Tuesday’s dashboard shows 85% 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 11% of ICU beds. Overall, 29% 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, 6% have come back positive, up from 5% the week prior, according to the state, which has a unique way of calculating percent positivity. Before the past two weeks, percent positivity was at 4% for six weeks straight, according to 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 Tuesday’s new numbers:
Reported cases in Arizona: 240,122.
Cases increased by 1,158, or 0.48%, from Monday’s 238,964 identified cases since the outbreak began.
Cases by county: 155,458 in Maricopa, 27,703 in Pima, 13,670 in Yuma, 11,832 in Pinal, 6,307 in Navajo, 5,121 in Coconino, 4,313 in Mohave, 3,890 in Apache, 2,995 in Santa Cruz, 2,919 in Yavapai, 2,125 in Cochise, 1,907 in Gila, 1,162 in Graham, 616 in La Paz and 103 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 5,945 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the U.S. average rate is 2,604 cases per 100,000 people, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Navajo Nation reported 11,362 cases and 574 confirmed deaths as of Monday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Arizona Department of Corrections said 2,631 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, including 995 in Tucson; 40,900 inmates statewide have been tested. A total of 752 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 1,724,647 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, 10.2% 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. Last week it was at 6%, up from 5% the week prior and 4% for six weeks before that. The state numbers leave out data from labs that do not report electronically.
Arizona, as of Monday, had one of the higher overall rates of COVID-19 infection in the country — 14th behind North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Iowa, Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Idaho, South Carolina and Georgia, according to the CDC. Arizona’s infection rate is 3,321 cases per 100,000 people, the CDC said. The national average is 2,604 cases per 100,000 people, though the rates in states hard-hit early on in the pandemic may be an undercount because a lack of available testing in March and April.
Reported deaths: 5,891 known deaths
On Tuesday, 16 new known deaths were reported.
County deaths: 3,557 in Maricopa, 636 in Pima, 354 in Yuma, 238 in Navajo, 230 in Mohave, 217 in Pinal, 169 in Apache, 147 in Coconino, 88 in Yavapai, 73 in Cochise, 70 in Gila, 65 in Santa Cruz, 28 in Graham, 17 in La Paz and fewer than three in Greenlee.
People aged 65 and older made up 4,189 of the 5,891 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 Tuesday was 1,161,422 and the U.S. had the highest death count of any country in the world, at 225,817, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s death total of 5,891 deaths represents 2.6% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. as of Tuesday.
The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona was 81 per 100,000 people as of Monday, 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 68 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.