PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Friday reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the third consecutive day for the first time since early March.
The Arizona Department of Health Services added 1,251 cases and 17 deaths to its COVID-19 dashboard, bringing the documented totals to 906,116 infections and 18,100 fatalities.
The current stretch of quadruple-digit case reports is the longest since a five-day run March 2-7, when the vaccine supply was limited and doses were being rationed.
Hospitalizations related to COVID-19, meanwhile, have risen in July to levels not seen in four months, with unvaccinated people accounting for most of the serious illnesses, according to health officials. The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients in the state’s hospitals increased by 30 overnight to 719 on Thursday, the most since March 17. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients went up by one to 185, the second-most since May 17.
The percent positivity for diagnostic testing last week was 9% as of Friday’s update, the highest since February. It’s up to 11% so far for this week.
The dashboard also showed that 6,663,058 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, with 3,655,649 people (50.9% of the state’s population) having received at least one shot and 3,280,377 people fully vaccinated.
“With at least 50% of all Arizonans having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, there’s less chance for a major surge in cases or significant strain on the healthcare system and intensive care units,” Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.
“But we’ve reached the point where severe cases and deaths from COVID-19 are almost entirely preventable.”
The state health department’s daily updates present case and death 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 numbers posted each morning are reported electronically the previous evening by hospitals across the state.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 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 where to get tested for COVID-19 can be found on the Department of Health Services website.
Federally approved vaccines are widely available and highly effective in stopping the transmission of COVID-19, including the more contagious Delta variant that’s behind much of the recent spread.
For details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with locations and other information.
For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events.
Appointments may be required depending on the provider, but many accept walk-ins.
The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot has been reduced to 12, but it’s still 18 for the other approved versions, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
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