Arizona reported 384 new COVID-19 cases and seven new known deaths on Sunday as hospitalizations for the disease continue to decline and the percentage of tests coming back positive remains steady at a relatively low level.
Hospitalization metrics such as patient counts andventilators in use for COVID-19 have been trending downward for about eight weeks, with several metrics back down to levels from April, according to hospital data reported to the state.
Identified cases rose to 208,512 and known deaths totaled 5,322, according to the daily report by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The seven new known deaths reported on Sunday represent the new deaths identified by the state Health Department that day, but many occurred days and weeks prior. Daily new case reports have fluctuated between about 80 and 1,100 daily new cases over the past three weeks.
Sunday’s dashboard shows 81% of inpatient beds and 79% of ICU beds in use, which includes people being treated for COVID-19 and other patients. COVID-19 patients are using 7% of all inpatient beds and 10% of ICU beds. Overall, 25% of ventilators were in use.
Most people who get the disease are not hospitalized. The state does not report the number of recovered cases, although it does report hospital discharges.
For much of the pandemic, testing did not keep up with the virus’ spread, but the state worked to expand testing and reduce results turnaround time, which had been up to two weeks or longer for some tests, even through July. Sonora Quest, the state’s largest test processor, reports it has cleared its backlog of tests and is returning most results within two days.
The number of weekly tests conducted dropped significantly in July and into August.
Of known test results from the past three weeks, 4% have come back positive, according to the state, which has a unique way of calculating percent positivity. Johns Hopkins University calculates Arizona’s seven-day moving average of percent positives at 7.3% and shows it has generally trended downward in recent weeks but is now at more of a plateau. A positivity rate of 5% is considered a good benchmark that the spread is under control.
Here’s what you need to know about Friday’s numbers.
Reported cases in Arizona: 208,512
Cases increased by 384, or 0.18%, from Saturday’s 208,128 identified cases since the outbreak began.
County cases: 137,507 in Maricopa, 22,418 in Pima, 12,400 in Yuma, 10,183 in Pinal, 5,686 in Navajo, 3,790 in Mohave, 3,550 in Coconino, 3,386 in Apache, 2,783 in Santa Cruz, 2,423 in Yavapai, 1,860 in Cochise, 1,168 in Gila, 774 in Graham, 526 in La Paz and 58 in Greenlee, according to state numbers.
The rate of cases per 100,000 people is highest in Yuma County, followed by Santa Cruz County, Navajo and Apache counties.
The Navajo Nation reported 9,969 cases and 530 confirmed deaths as of Saturday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Arizona Department of Corrections said 2,464 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, including 953 in Tucson; 39,558 inmates have been tested out of a population of about 39,022; 4,027 test results are pending. Thirteen incarcerated people have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19, with 14 additional deaths under investigation.
While race/ethnicity is unknown for 33% of cases, 30% of cases are Hispanic or Latino, 24% of cases are white, 6% are Native American, 3% are Black and 1% are Asian/Pacific Islander.
Laboratories have completed 1,296,137 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, 12.0% of which have come back positive. The percentage of positive tests had increased since mid-May but began decreasing in July. It was 4% for tests that have come back so far from the last three weeks, according to state numbers, which leave out data from labs that do not report electronically.
Reported deaths: 5,322 known deaths
On Sunday, seven new deaths were reported, although many occurred days and weeks prior.
County deaths: 3,154 in Maricopa, 602 in Pima, 337 in Yuma, 227 in Navajo, 217 in Mohave, 195 in Pinal, 158 in Apache, 132 in Coconino, 80 in Yavapai, 67 in Cochise, 61 in Santa Cruz, 51 in Gila, 24 in Graham, 15 in La Paz and fewer than three in Greenlee.
People aged 65 and older made up 3,802 of the 5,322 deaths, or 71%.
While race/ethnicity is unknown for 11% of deaths, 42% of those who died were white, 31% were Hispanic or Latino, 11% were Native American, 3% were Black and 1% were Asian/Pacific Islander.
Hospitalizations continue steady decline
Inpatients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 were at 525 on Saturday, the same level of COVID-19 inpatients as in mid-April. Inpatient numbers have been trending downward for more than eight weeks. Hospitalizations surpassed 3,000 daily for much of July and have decreased steadily since.
ICU bed use for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients was at 171 beds in use on Saturday, a drop from Friday’s 185 beds in use. ICU bed occupancy for COVID-19 patients is at its lowest level reported since early April. Occupied beds have seen gradual decreases for more than eight weeks.
Ventilator use for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients was at 87 on Saturday, the lowest it has been since hospitals began reporting the data in early April. Ventilator numbers have generally been declining for eight weeks, after hitting a record high 687 ventilators in use on July 16.
Emergency department visits for patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 was at 838 on Saturday. Generally, with a few exceptions, daily ER visits are gradually trending downward. Daily ER visits first surpassed 1,000 on June 16 and were above that level nearly every day since, until daily ER visits dropped below 1,000 on Aug. 9. The number since then has hovered around or below 1,000.
The number of patients with suspected and confirmed positive COVID-19 discharged from hospitals was at 189 patients discharged on Saturday. July saw relatively high discharge numbers, which generally have been decreasing since then.
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