Arizona reports record highs of 4,878 new coronavirus cases, 88 deaths
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Wednesday, July 1.
PHOENIX — The Arizona health department reported single-day records of 4,878 new coronavirus cases and 88 deaths Wednesday morning.
That brings the state’s documented totals to 84,092 COVID-19 cases and 1,720 fatalities.
The previous single-day highs were 4,682 on Tuesday and 79 deaths from June 24. However, both of those figures were inflated because they included older data that hadn’t previously been accounted for in the stat reports. Wednesday’s report came with no such caveat.
The Arizona Department of Health Services 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 rising 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 positive percentage of PCR tests, which detect active infections, continues to soar.
There have been more than 549,000 PCR tests given in Arizona, including 17,227 added to the total Wednesday. Of the total, 12.4% have come back positive as of Wednesday. The positive rate was 12% a day earlier and just 6.7% on the last day of May.
The weekly positive rate for PCR tests 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 24%.
ICU bed usage reached a pandemic-high of 89% in Arizona on Tuesday, according to the latest state data, with the available supply down to a low point of 187 beds.
Overall inpatient bed usage was at 85%, 1 percentage point below the pandemic high last seen June 26.
The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients currently in Arizona hospitals reached another all-time high at 2,876 on Tuesday, when a record 1,289 COVID-19 patients were seen in emergency rooms.
The capacity data on the health department’s website doesn’t include surge beds on the ready for emergency use.
In other notable hospital data from Tuesday related to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients:
- 466 were on ventilators, the second-highest number recorded and an increase of 10 from the previous day.
- 675 were in ICU beds, a decrease of eight from the record 683 from the previous day.
- 322 were discharged, 90 more than the previous day and 52 more than the previous high from June 26.
Below are Wednesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- When President Donald Trump speaks on the Fourth of July at the Mount Rushmore national memorial, those in attendance will not be required to wear face coverings or practice social distancing measures.
- Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced 64 new coronavirus cases five additional deaths among the Navajo Nation.
- The Judicial Branch of Arizona announced that all jury trials within Maricopa County had been suspended through the end of the month.
- Vice President Mike Pence, during a visit to Phoenix, said federal authorities were ready to assist Arizona with health care personnel and surge capacity needs as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in the state.
- Days before he is scheduled to be sworn into office, Tempe Mayor-elect Corey Woods announced he tested positive for coronavirus but is recovering at home.
- Five Arizona prison inmates who were living and working at Hickman’s Family egg farm have tested positive for the coronavirus.
- In Republican circles — with the notable exception of the man who leads the party — the debate about masks is over: It’s time to put one on.
- As coronavirus cases soar in Arizona, an ASU professor believes the crisis was prompted by a premature opening in an attempt to revitalize the struggling economy.
- The city of Phoenix is promoting a new grant program to aid local businesses enduring financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- With the prospect of more distance learning on the horizon due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new analysis released demonstrates the digital divide students in Arizona face.