Arizona reported 701 new COVID-19 cases and 11 new known deaths on Tuesday and hospitalizations continued on a slight uptick that began in late April.
Arizona’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is faring much better than most other states, ranking 40th on Monday among all states and territories after ranking first and second for much of January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker.
The states with a lower case rate over the past seven days were South Dakota, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Wyoming, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kansas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Alabama and California. Arizona ranked 51st among 60 states and territories on March 28, but its rank has fluctuated.
Arizona’s seven-day death rate per 100,000 people ranked 22nd in the nation as of Sunday, according to the CDC.
Percent positivity, which refers to the percent of COVID-19 diagnostic tests that are positive, varies somewhat based on how it’s measured.
Last week, Arizona’s percent positivity remained at 6% for the third week in a row, following six weeks at 5%, according to the state, which has a unique way of calculating percent positivity. Weekly percent positivity statewide peaked at 25% in December.
Johns Hopkins University calculates Arizona’s seven-day moving average of percent positives at 3.8% as of Tuesday. It shows the state’s percent positivity peaked at 24.2% in December.
A positivity rate of 5% or less is considered a good benchmark that the spread of the disease is under control.
The state’s overall COVID-19 death and case rates since Jan. 21, 2020, still remain among the worst in the country.
The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona since the pandemic began is 238 deaths per 100,000 people as of Monday, according to the CDC, putting it sixth in the country in a state ranking that separates New York City from New York state. The U.S. average is 172 deaths per 100,000 people as of Monday, the CDC said.
New York City has the highest death rate, at 389 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Mississippi.
Arizona’s case rate per 100,000 people since the pandemic began also ranks sixth nationwide as of Monday.
Arizona’s known COVID-19 death count rose to 17,355, after 11 new known deaths were reported Tuesday.
The state surpassed 17,000 deaths on April 7, after passing 16,000 deaths on March 2, 15,000 deaths on Feb. 17, 14,000 deaths on Feb. 6 and 13,000 deaths on Jan. 29, just one week after it passed 12,000 and two weeks after 11,000 deaths. The state exceeded 10,000 known deaths on Jan. 9. Arizona’s first known death from the disease occurred in mid-March 2020.
Many of the reported deaths occurred days or weeks prior because of reporting delays and death certificate matching.
A total of 865,280 COVID-19 cases have been identified across the state. March and April saw relatively lower case reports. Fifty-four of the past 58 days’ reported cases have been under 1,000.
The Arizona data dashboard shows 85% of all ICU beds and 87% of all inpatient beds in the state were in use Monday, with 11% of ICU beds and 7% of non-ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Statewide, 274 ICU beds and 1,120 non-ICU beds were available.
Hospitalizations for the disease generally dropped for about 13 weeks and recently appear to have plateaued somewhat. However, there has been a slight uptick since April 25, when the total number of patients hospitalized statewide eclipsed 600 for the first time since March 31. Hospitalizations had remained at more than 600 for nine consecutive days as of Monday.
The total number of patients hospitalized in Arizona for known or suspected COVID-19 cases was 615 on Monday, up from 607 on Sunday and still far below the record 5,082 inpatients on Jan. 11. The highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day during the summer 2020 surge was 3,517 on July 13.
The number of patients with suspected or known COVID-19 in ICUs across Arizona was at 184 on Monday, down from 189 on Sunday and far below the record high of 1,183 on Jan. 11. During the summer surge in mid-July, ICU beds in use for COVID-19 peaked at 970.
Arizonans with confirmed and suspected COVID-19 on ventilators tallied 83 on Monday, up slightly from 80 on Sunday and well below the record high 821 reached on Jan. 13. During the summer surge, July 16 was the peak day for ventilator use, with 687 patients.
Sunday saw 808 patients in Arizona emergency rooms for COVID-19, well below the Dec. 29 single-day record of 2,341 positive or suspected COVID-19 patients seen in emergency departments across the state.
Arizona began its first COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers, long-term care facilities and front-line first responders in mid-December. The state in early March shifted to a largely age-based rollout and in late March began allowing anyone 16 and older to start registering for appointments.
The state reported nearly 3 million people in Arizona had received at least one vaccine dose as of Monday, with more than 2.3 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Arizona has about 5.6 million adults age 18 and older.
What to know about Tuesday’s numbers
Reported cases in Arizona: 865,280.
Cases since the outbreak began increased by 701 or 0.08%, from Monday’s 864,579 identified cases. These daily cases are grouped by the date they are reported to the state health department, not by the date the tests were administered.
Cases by county: 539,080 in Maricopa, 115,437 in Pima, 51,492 in Pinal, 37,110 in Yuma, 22,724 in Mohave, 18,766 in Yavapai, 17,764 in Coconino, 16,234 in Navajo, 11,935 in Cochise, 11,335 in Apache, 7,920 in Santa Cruz, 6,908 in Gila, 5,554 in Graham, 2,459 in La Paz and 572 in Greenlee, according to state numbers.
The rate of cases per 100,000 people since the pandemic began is highest in Yuma County, followed by Apache, Santa Cruz, Graham and Navajo counties, per state data. The rate in Yuma County is 16,138 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the U.S. average rate since the pandemic began is 9,707 cases per 100,000 people as of Sunday, according to the CDC.
The Navajo Nation reported 30,522 cases and 1,281 confirmed deaths in total as of Sunday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Arizona Department of Corrections reported 12,282 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, including 2,241 in Tucson, 2,031 in Eyman, 2,014 in Yuma, 1,303 in Lewis and 1,163 in Douglas; 46,700 inmates statewide have been tested. A total of 2,766 prison staff members have self-reported testing positive, the department said. Forty-three incarcerated people in Arizona have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19, with 12 additional deaths under investigation.
Race/ethnicity is unknown for 17% of all COVID-19 cases statewide, but 38% of positive cases have been diagnosed in white people, 30% Hispanic or Latino, 5% Native American, 3% Black and 1% Asian/Pacific Islander.
Of those who have tested positive in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, 16% were younger than 20, 44% were 20-44, 15% were 45-54, 12% were 55-64 and 13% were age 65 or older.
Laboratories had completed 4,273,045 diagnostic tests on unique individuals for COVID-19 as of Sunday, 13.4% of which have come back positive. That number includes both PCR and antigen testing. The percentage of positive tests for the last full week was at 6% for the third week in a row, following six weeks at 5%. The state numbers leave out data from labs that do not report electronically.
The state Health Department includes probable cases as anyone with a positive antigen test, another type of test to determine current infection. Antigen tests (not related to antibody tests) 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. Mayo Clinic officials say a doctor may recommend a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm a negative antigen test result.
Arizona as of Sunday had the sixth-highest overall case rate in the country since Jan. 21, 2020. Ahead of Arizona in cases per 100,000 people since the pandemic began are North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah, according to the CDC.
Arizona’s infection rate is 11,869 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. The national average is 9,707 cases per 100,000 people, though the rates in states hard hit early in the pandemic may be an undercount because of a lack of available testing in March and April 2020.
Reported deaths in Arizona: 17,355
Deaths by county: 9,886 in Maricopa, 2,397 in Pima, 873 in Pinal, 833 in Yuma, 716 in Mohave, 533 in Navajo, 503 in Yavapai, 428 in Apache, 329 in Coconino, 284 in Cochise, 228 in Gila, 176 in Santa Cruz, 80 in La Paz, 79 in Graham and 10 in Greenlee.
People age 65 and older make up 13,002 of the 17,355 deaths, or 75%. Following that, 15% of deaths were in the 55-64 age group, 6% were 45-54 and 4% were 20-44 years old.
While race/ethnicity was unknown for 6% of deaths, 50% of those who died were white, 28% were Hispanic or Latino, 8% were Native American, 3% were Black and 1% were Asian/Pacific Islander, the state data show.
The global death toll as of Monday morning was 3,216,016. The U.S. had the highest death count of any country in the world, at 577,671, followed by Brazil at 408,622 and India at 222,408, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s death total of 17,355 deaths represents about 3% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.
Republic reporter Alison Steinbach contributed to this article.
Support local journalism.Subscribe to azcentral.com today.
Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-health/2021/05/04/arizona-coronavirus-may-4-update-701-new-cases-and-11-new-deaths/4937735001/