Inflated by late data, Arizona reports record 4,682 new coronavirus cases
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Tuesday, June 30.
PHOENIX — As expected after some results were delayed the previous day, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported a single-day record of 4,682 new coronavirus cases Tuesday morning.
The state also reported 44 new deaths, increasing the pandemic totals to 1,632 fatalities along with 79,215 cases.
Monday’s report included only 625 new cases because Sonora Quest Laboratories, which performs most of Arizona’s COVID-19 testing, missed the daily deadline for submitting data. That came after four consecutive daily state reports with at least 3,000 new cases.
Sonora Quest said its late report included 2,454 positive tests from Sunday. A health department spokesman said that wasn’t necessarily the actual shortfall because the state puts the data through a verification process before adding it to the database.
Tuesday’s report included the usual daily data plus the testing and case statistics that weren’t submitted in time the previous day. Because of the verification process, it’s not known exactly how much of Tuesday’s record numbers would have been part of Monday’s report if they’d been submitted on time.
The state 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.
With cases soaring and hospitals filling up, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday put the state’s reopening plans into reverse, shutting down bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks for at least a month and pushing back the start of on-campus K-12 schooling for at least two weeks.
Ducey said to expect case counts to keep increasing for several weeks before the impact of the new policies shows up in the data.
New cases have been increasing at a faster rate than testing has been increasing, indicating community spread of a virus that has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people who don’t show symptoms are still capable of spreading the coronavirus.
The weekly positive rate for PCR tests, which detect active COVID-19 infections, has risen every week since the week starting May 10, when it was 5%.
Of the PCR samples collected last week that have been processed, a pandemic-high 20% have come back positive. So far this week, that figure is 21%.
There have been more than 531,000 PCR tests given in Arizona, including 20,913 added to the total Tuesday. Of the tests processed, 12% have come back positive, a rate that’s been surging upward since the beginning of the month. It was 11.7% on Monday and had been 6.7% on May 31.
The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients (2,793) checked into Arizona hospitals, as well as the number of those patients in ICU beds (683), climbed to all-time high marks again Monday.
The percentage of inpatient beds (85%) and ICU beds (86%) in use remained near pandemic highs, although neither of those marks has changed much in the past week.
As of Sunday, 224 of Arizona’s ICU beds were unused, 13 more than the previous day and up from the low point of 198 seen June 24.
Daily COVID-19 discharges declined for the third consecutive day Monday to 232. That figure peaked at 270 on Friday.
Below are Tuesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced 17 new coronavirus cases and one additional death among the Navajo Nation.
- Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said that he has been cited in multiple metro Phoenix cities for staying open and defying Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order.
- The Navajo Nation extended the closure of tribal government offices and ordered residents to stay home for another three weeks as the number of coronavirus cases rises outside the reservation.
- The Arizona Science Center has temporarily closed effectively immediately in response to the increase in coronavirus cases in the state.
- Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips said he won’t resign from his position despite calls to do so following controversial comments he made last week at an anti-mask rally.
- Arizona has activated a guidance plan for health care professionals facing difficult decisions about how to ration dwindling resources as the number of COVID-19 patients climbs and hospital beds fill up.
- Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show the latest state order that puts Arizona’s reopening on hold was “reckless,” “subjective” and an overreach on Gov. Doug Ducey’s part.
- Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show she is encouraging schools to have alternative methods of learning at the ready after the state delayed the start of in-person classes.
- The European Union announced that it will reopen its borders to travelers from 14 countries, but most Americans have been refused entry for at least another two weeks due to soaring coronavirus infections in the U.S.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.
Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.