Arizona reported 469 new COVID-19 cases and nine new known deaths on Sunday, as ventilator usage for patients hit its lowest point since early April.
Identified cases rose to 214,018 and known deaths totaled 5,476, according to the daily report by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The nine 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.
The department is now including as probable cases 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 other fluid sample to test for current infection. Results are typically produced within 15 minutes.
Sunday’s dashboard shows 79% of inpatient beds and 79% of ICU beds in use, which includes people being treated for COVID-19 and other patients. COVID-19 patients were using 6% of all inpatient beds and 7% of ICU beds. Overall, 24% of ventilators were in use.
The number of weekly tests conducted dropped significantly in July and into August, after which it’s remained flatter with slight decreases.
Of known test results from the past four weeks, 4-5% 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 6.4% 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 of the disease is under control.
Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s new numbers.
Reported cases in Arizona: 214,018
- Cases increased by 469, or 0.22%, from Saturday’s 213,551 identified cases since the outbreak began.
- County cases: 139,856 in Maricopa, 24,610 in Pima, 12,553 in Yuma, 10,361 in Pinal, 5,748 in Navajo, 3,896 in Mohave, 3,744 in Coconino, 3,451 in Apache, 2,819 in Santa Cruz, 2,480 in Yavapai, 1,881 in Cochise, 1,233 in Gila, 792 in Graham, 535 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 10,107 cases and 548 confirmed deaths as of Saturday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
- The Arizona Department of Corrections said 2,550 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday, including 963 in Tucson; 39,495 inmates have been tested; 45 test results are pending. Fourteen incarcerated people have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19, with 14 additional deaths under investigation.
- While race/ethnicity is unknown for 32% of cases, 31% of cases are Hispanic or Latino people, 24% of cases are white people, 6% are Native Americans, 3% are Black people and 1% are Asian/Pacific Islanders.
- Laboratories have completed 1,379,607 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, 11.5% 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. It was around 4-5% for tests that have come back so far from the past four weeks, according to state numbers, which leave out data from labs that do not report electronically.
Reported deaths: 5,476 known deaths
- On Sunday, nine new deaths were reported, although some may have occurred days and weeks prior.
- County deaths: 3,261 in Maricopa, 615 in Pima, 344 in Yuma, 232 in Navajo, 222 in Mohave, 203 in Pinal, 163 in Apache, 133 in Coconino, 79 in Yavapai, 69 in Cochise, 63 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 3,902 of the 5,476 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.
Hospital metrics continue steady decline
- Inpatients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 were counted at 472 on Saturday, down from Friday’s 528 and continuing to hover around the level of patients hospitalized in early April. Inpatient numbers have generally been trending downward for more than nine weeks. Hospitalizations surpassed 3,000 daily for much of July.
- ICU bed use for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients was at 120 beds in use on Saturday. ICU bed occupancy for COVID-19 patients is near its lowest level reported since early April. Occupied beds have seen gradual decreases for more than nine weeks.
- Ventilator use for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients was at 57 on Saturday, around the lowest it has been since hospitals began reporting the data in early April. Ventilator numbers have generally been declining for about nine 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 895 on Saturday. 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 167 patients discharged on Saturday. July saw relatively high discharge numbers, which generally have been decreasing since then.
Reach the reporter at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @curtis_chels.
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