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Arizona health department reports 3,333 new coronavirus cases, 37 deaths

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Thursday, July 2.

PHOENIX — The Arizona health department reported 3,333 new coronavirus cases and 37 deaths Thursday morning.

That brings the state’s documented totals to 87,425 COVID-19 cases and 1,757 fatalities.

The single-day pandemic highs were 4,878 cases and 88 deaths, both reported Wednesday.

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 560,000 PCR tests given in Arizona, including 11,235 added to the total Thursday. Of the total, 12.5% have come back positive as of Thursday. The positive rate was 12.4% 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 Thursday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez announced an additional 56 coronavirus cases and two related deaths among the Navajo Nation.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services gave three Valley gyms a final notice to close by noon on Friday before seeking injunctive and declaratory relief against the facilities.
  • Confirmed coronavirus cases were on the rise in 40 of 50 U.S. states
  • In an email to members Thursday, Life Time Fitness announced they would begin screening individuals entering their facilities for fever and COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Varsity Tavern in Tempe in under investigation by the Department of Liquor License and Control for violating the state’s executive order. The violations include knowingly permitting managers and employees who had tested positive for COVID-19 to continue working.
  • The Department of Liquor License and Control announced they suspended the liquor license for a Life Time Fitness’ Life Café and Bistro in North Scottsdale.  On Tuesday, investigators had suspended two liquor licenses at the gym’s Biltmore location.
  • Tucson Mayor Regina Romero told CNN on Wednesday that the surge of coronavirus cases in Arizona is a direct result of Gov. Doug Ducey reopening the state in mid-May.
  • Gila River Gaming Enterprises Inc. announced its facilities will reopen on Thursday with enhanced safety and sanitation protocols in place.
  • As Arizona continues to grapple with a statewide surge in coronavirus cases, the HeroZona Foundation announced it is providing residents with opportunities to be tested for the virus at zero cost.
  • U.S. employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, as the job market improved for a second straight month, yet still remained far short of regaining the colossal losses it suffered this spring.

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.

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