Arizona reports 24 more coronavirus deaths, 238 additional cases

May 7, 2020, 9:05 AM | Updated: 2:56 pm
coronavirus testing...
Workers wearing personal protective equipment gather the tests administered as Mend Urgent Care hosts a drive-thru testing for the COVID-19 virus at the Westfield Fashion Square on April 13, 2020, in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles County 'safer at home' orders remain in effect through May 15 to stop the spread of coronavirus during the worldwide pandemic. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona health officials reported 24 new coronavirus deaths Thursday morning with 238 additional positive tests.

The state death count increased to 450, while the COVID-19 case total climbed to 9,945.

The report included 4,697 new tests given for the virus, increasing the total to 96,434.

Initial reports about Thursday’s testing numbers were inaccurate because the Arizona Department of Health Services altered how it was presenting data without changing labeling on the summary page of its COVID-19 dashboard.

Health Director Dr. Cara Christ announced Tuesday that antibody testing was being added to the dashboard.

On Thursday morning, the spot on the main summary labeled “Number of COVID-19 Tests” showed a larger-than-usual increase of 7,489 to 111,086. However, those numbers combined date for both PCR testing that shows an active infection and serology testing that detects antibodies, indicating the subject had the virus and recovered.

That spot previously listed the total of tests done for the infection only, not antibody testing.

To find the breakdown of each type of testing Thursday, users needed to go to the laboratory testing section of the and operate a dropdown menu.

ABC15 data analyst Garret Archer caught the discrepancy and tweeted about it, and the health department responded, saying the breakdown of each kind of testing would be added to the summary page.

The initial report on the percentage of tests that come back positive also was affected by the website alteration. A combined rate of 7.6% was displayed on the summary page, but the serology data on the laboratory page showed 8.1%, slightly higher than the previous day.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Arizona was in last place among the 50 states in coronavirus testing per capita as of Wednesday.

The department has been providing case and testing updates on its website each morning. The daily report includes details about deaths from COVID-19 and hospital capacity plus a ZIP code map of cases.

The daily reports present data after the state receives statistics and compiles them, which can lag by several days. They don’t necessarily represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.

The department reported totals of 9,707 cases and 426 deaths with 91,737 tests given Wednesday morning.

Gov. Doug Ducey recently announced that the state’s stay-at-home order, which has been in effect since March 31, was being extended through May 15 but modified.

Starting Friday, retail stores can reopen if they follow guidelines designed to curb the spread of coronavirus. Barber shops and hair salons taking the proper precautions can also resume service that day.

Then on Monday, restaurants, which have been limited to takeout and delivery, can resume dine-in service on a limited basis.

Coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

In most cases, a positive test won’t change a patient’s treatment plan.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 70,802 deaths from nearly 1.2 million COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday’s daily U.S. update.

According to data compiled and regularly updated by Johns Hopkins University, there were nearly 3.8 million cases and about 264,000 deaths globally as of Thursday morning.

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Arizona reports 24 more coronavirus deaths, 238 additional cases