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Arizona reports its largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases, deaths

Tube tests stands in a holder as media visit the Microbiology Laboratory of the University Hospital, CHUV, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Lausanne, Switzerland, Monday, March 23, 2020. (Denis Balibouse/Keystone via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX – Although Arizona health officials have been warning about coronavirus test supply shortages, the state reported its largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths Friday morning.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 13 deaths, up five from the previous day.

The state now has 665 positive tests, up 157 from the 508 reported Thursday morning. Wednesday’s total was 401.

The health department has been providing daily case updates on its website each morning.

Maricopa County added another 100 COVID-19 cases in the past day and now has 399. The state’s most populous county also reported its fifth death.

According to Maricopa County Public Health, 78 metro Phoenix patients have been hospitalized, 20% of the area’s positive tests, and 30 have been treated in intensive care units.

Pima County has the state’s second-highest case total, moving into triple digits with 102.

Eleven other Arizona counties also have positive tests: Navajo with 49; Coconino with 41; Pinal with 36; Apache with 11; Yavapai with nine; Graham, Yuma and Mohave with four each; and La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochise with two each.

Gila and Greenlee counties haven’t reported any cases.

Arizona Health Director Dr. Cara Christ has said that while the capacity for testing has been increasing, which is reflected in a rise in cases, there’s still a shortage of supplies and protective equipment for health care workers. As a result, there aren’t enough tests for everyone who wants one, so high-risk populations are being prioritized.

The department said Friday on Twitter that private labs have reported administering more than 10,000 tests. No information was available about how many of those had been processed.

In the first reported estimate of tests given by private labs, Christ said Wednesday the figure was 6,600.

The state website’s daily report of tests given has so far been limited to work done by the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory, although there are plans to regularly post the private lab total in the future.

The state lab had given 420 tests as of Friday morning, with 362 ruled out, 58 positive and 30 pending. Some of the positives were later found to be negative during the confirmation process, leaving 52 positives from the state lab and 613 in private labs.

Christ also this week said models are projecting that Arizona COVID-19 cases could peak in April, with hospitalizations peaking in May.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 1,246 deaths from more than 85,000 COVID-19 cases as of Friday.

On Thursday, the U.S. moved ahead of China into the top spot globally for number of reported cases, according to data compiled and constantly updated by Johns Hopkins University

The university reported more than 560,000 cases worldwide as of Friday morning, resulting in more than 25,000 deaths.


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