Arizona reports 43 additional coronavirus deaths, 331 new cases
PHOENIX — The Arizona health department reported 43 new coronavirus deaths Wednesday morning along with 331 additional cases.
Twenty-one of the new deaths were found through death certificate surveillance of earlier fatalities, and 22 were from regular daily reports, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Of the deaths reported today, 21 are from death certificate matching and 22 were reported to ADHS yesterday. Read our May 8 blog to learn more about death certificate matching. https://t.co/DQ9l1IMpyI
— AZ Dept of Health (@AZDHS) May 20, 2020
The state’s documented total of COVID-19 cases increased to 14,897, and the death count reached 747.
More than 227,000 combined tests for active COVID-19 infections (PCR testing) and antibodies (serology testing) have been given in Arizona. Of those that have been processed, 5.8% have come back positive, continuing a downward trend.
A week ago, the total positive rate was 6.4%. It was 5.9% on Tuesday morning.
More than 165,000 of the tests, including 3,864 reported Wednesday morning, have been for coronavirus infections, with a 6.9% positive rate that was unchanged from a day earlier.
Of the over 61,000 antibody tests given, including 2,623 added in the latest report, the positive rate is 3.1%, also unchanged from Tuesday.
The Arizona health department has been providing case and testing updates on its website each morning. The dashboard includes, among other information, testing trends, updated hospital capacity and 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 aren’t meant to represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.
On Tuesday morning, the totals were 14,566 cases and 704 deaths.
Death certificate surveillance is an important tool for tracking the extent of the coronavirus spread or any communicable disease investigation, Health Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a blog post earlier this month.
“This surveillance can provide key information about risk factors and the severity of a disease, especially when dealing with a novel virus,” she wrote May 8 after the state reported 35 additional COVID-19 deaths found by taking a closer look at death certificates.
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 outcomes, 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 91,664 deaths from more than 1.52 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 5 million cases and more than 326,000 deaths globally as of Wednesday afternoon.