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Arizona reports 3,038 new coronavirus cases, 69 additional deaths

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Saturday, July 11.

PHOENIX – The Arizona health department reported 3,038 new coronavirus cases on Saturday morning and 69 additional deaths.

That brought the state’s totals to 119,930 COVID-19 cases and 2,151 fatalities.

It was the fifth time this month there were at least 40 new deaths reported.

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 683,000 PCR tests given in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, including 14,765 added to the total Saturday, with a positive rate of 14.1%. It was 14% on Friday, 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 moved up to 90% full, an increase from the 89% on Wednesday and Thursday but down from 91% on Tuesday.

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

  • Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Twitter that Arizona would receive 361 cases of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has been shown to lessen the effects of COVID-19, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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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