Arizona reports 4,221 new coronavirus cases, 44 more deaths

Jul 10, 2020, 8:26 AM | Updated: 8:18 pm

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Friday, July 10.

PHOENIX – The Arizona health department reported 4,221 new coronavirus cases on Friday morning and 44 additional deaths.

That brought the state’s totals to 116,892 COVID-19 cases and 2,082 fatalities.

The number of new cases reported was the highest since last Friday and the fourth highest ever. The death report was the fourth time this month with at least 40 new fatalities.

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 confirms them, which can lag by several days. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.

New cases have been increasing in Arizona 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.

Face coverings can help prevent the virus’ spread and are required in public throughout the Phoenix area where social distancing isn’t possible.

On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Arizona’s restaurants to restrict occupancy to under 50% of capacity and revealed plans for ramping up testing.

He also said there are signs the state’s COVID-19 curve is starting to flatten. The latest health department report backs that up to some extent but also shows that the virus continues to spread at a high rate and strain hospital resources.

Arizona’s weekly positive rate for PCR tests, which diagnose active coronavirus infections, has been steadily rising since early May, when it was 5%, but is showing signs of leveling off. Of the tests processed this week, 21% have come back positive, equaling the level of the previous two weeks. The previous weekly rates can fluctuate as test results come in for samples taken during that timeframe.

There have been more than 668,000 PCR tests given in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, including 16,110 added to the total Friday, with a positive rate of 14%. It was 13.9% on Thursday, 12% on June 30, and 6.7% on May 31.

The overall number of hospitalizations and the percentage of inpatient beds filled in Arizona reached pandemic highs for the second straight day Thursday, according to the latest state report. Bed use climbed to 88% with 6,955 inpatients.

However, the number of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients in Arizona’s hospitals decreased Thursday for the first time in two weeks. It dipped overnight to 3,432, 49.3% of the inpatient total and five fewer than the record high from the previous day.

It was only the second time since June 14 that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients decreased from one day to the next.

Arizona’s intensive care units remained 89% full for the second consecutive day after reaching a pandemic-high 91% on Tuesday.

However, the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds hit a record high Thursday of 876, 58.8% of the state’s 1,490 ICU patients.

In other notable hospital data from Thursday related to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients:

    • 512 were discharged, a decrease from the previous report for the second consecutive day but still the third most ever.
    • 1,875 were seen in emergency departments, the second consecutive day that number decreased after a record 2,008 were seen Tuesday.
    • 615 were on ventilators, the fifth straight day of increases and a new record high. (About half of the state’s ventilator supply remains unused.)
    • 103 intubations for respiratory distress were performed, the second consecutive day of decreases after a record 121 were performed Tuesday.

Hospital bed data on the health department website does not include surge beds that have not been activated but can potentially increase capacity.

Below are Friday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • Navajo Nation reported 56 new COVID-19 positive cases and 10 more deaths. The total number of deaths has reached 396.
  • Arizona courts are readying for a high volume of eviction cases after a moratorium ends in late July.
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has the lowest approval rating for the handling of the coronavirus pandemic of all governors, according to a survey published Tuesday.
  • The head of the Arizona Restaurant Association said Gov. Doug Ducey’s requirement that dining rooms remain below 50% capacity is helpful for the industry.
  • Abrazo Health said it has “adequate morgue space” after Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said the hospital system’s morgues were filling up because of coronavirus deaths.
  • A group of Arizona bar owners has filed a lawsuit contending Gov. Doug Ducey didn’t have the authority to shut them down last week.
  • The director of Arizona’s state prison system told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that inmates are receiving facial coverings and those about to be paroled will also get them as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
  • Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ discussed increased measures the state is taking to handle the increase of coronavirus cases with The Mike Broomhead Show.
  • The Maricopa County Home Show scheduled for July 17-19 at State Farm Stadium has been canceled because of state restrictions designed to combat the spread of coronavirus. The next Maricopa County Home Show is scheduled for Oct. 16-18 at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
  • The Medieval Times dinner theatre in Scottsdale, which debuted last year and has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, is taking reservations for shows starting Aug. 1 and has announced health safety protocols.

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Arizona reports 4,221 new coronavirus cases, 44 more deaths