This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 1, 2020.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Tuesday reported a daily record of 10,322 new coronavirus cases, with 48 additional deaths.
That put the state’s documented totals at 337,139 COVID-19 infections and 6,687 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Department Director Dr. Cara Christ attributed the exceptionally high case total, which more than doubled the previous record, to delays in the process of reviewing and reporting results by local health officials over Thanksgiving weekend.
“While today’s higher numbers have a simple explanation due to the long weekend, the numbers are still trending in a concerning direction, especially considering that the number of holiday parties and gatherings are expected to increase over the next few weeks,” Christ wrote in a blog post before Tuesday’s update.
Overall, key pandemic metrics have been rising in Arizona at rates not seen since the first wave hit in June and July. Cases have been surging since the beginning of October and reached record levels last week.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients was 2,594 on Monday, a 17% increase in the last week and the most since July 26.
The number of COVID-19 inpatients peaked July 13 at 3,517 and fell afterward as low as 468 on Sept. 27.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds was 597 on Monday, a 12% increase in the last week and the most since Aug. 4.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds peaked July 13 at 970 and fell afterward as low as 114 on Sept. 22.
Statewide, 30% of all inpatient beds and 34% of all ICU beds were filled with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients on Monday, levels last seen in late July and early August. Overall, inpatient beds were 87% filled and ICU beds were 89% filled on Monday.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, has reached its highest level in more than four months.
The positivity rate was 14% through 126,738 tests reported last week, the highest since it was 16% for the week starting July 12.
The weekly rate peaked at 21% at the end of June and was down to 4% as recently as early October.
Official positivity rates are based on when the samples are taken, not when they are reported, so the percentage for recent weeks can fluctuate as labs get caught up on testing and the results are documented by the state.
Five days after reaching a record high of nearly 4,000, the rolling seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported cases dipped to 3,499 for Monday, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
After the summer wave, the seven-day case average fell as low as 373.14 on Sept. 12.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths is relatively stable compared to the case counts and was at 25 for Monday.
The seven-day death average peaked July 30 at 94 and fell afterward as low as 5.57 on Oct. 14.
The Arizona health department’s daily reports present case, death and testing data after the state receives statistics and confirms them, which can lag by several days or more. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.
The hospitalization data posted each morning is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms — which include but are not limited to cough, fever and difficulty breathing — are capable of spreading the virus.
Information about testing locations can be found on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.
Below are Tuesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- Globally, there were more than 63.38 million COVID-19 cases and 1.47 million deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 13.54 million cases and 268,000 deaths.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.