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Arizona reports 4,273 new COVID-19 cases, 92 deaths, but with footnote

A test tube for collecting saliva samples for COVID-19 testing is shown during a testing event at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix on July 14, 2020. (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)

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, July 14.

PHOENIX – The Arizona health department reported 4,273 new coronavirus cases and 92 additional deaths on Tuesday morning, but with a footnote about the data.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said on Twitter one testing partner did not report results in time for Monday’s report, meaning some of Tuesday’s cases would normally have been reported a day earlier. It’s not clear how many were carryovers from Monday.

The department also said 23 of the deaths were confirmed through death certificate matching, meaning 69 fatalities from new reports. (Here is a May blog post from Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona’s health director, explaining death certificate matching.)

The state’s totals for the pandemic moved to 128,097 COVID-19 cases and 2,337 fatalities.

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 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, health experts say, and are required in public throughout the Phoenix area and many other Arizona communities when social distancing isn’t possible.

Gov. Doug Ducey gave local governments the authority to implement mask requirements on June 17, and most of the regulations were in effect within a few days. Officials said it would take several weeks for the effects of the requirements to be seen, and that’s about how long it took for the positive test percentage to stop increasing.

Arizona’s weekly positive rate for PCR tests, which diagnose active coronavirus infections, had been steadily rising since early May, when it was 5%, but is showing signs of leveling off. The positive rate for last week’s completed tests is 18%, which, if it holds up, would be the first weekly decline in 10 weeks.

The PCR positive rate peaked the week starting June 21 at 21% and remained at that level the following week. Previous weekly rates can change as test results come in for samples taken during those times.

There have been more than 721,000 PCR tests completed in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, including 19,488 added to the total Tuesday. The positive rate was at 14.2%, the same rate as the previous day but up from 12% on the last day of June and 6.7% on the last day of May.

After falling for two days, the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in Arizona’s hospitals spiked by 144 overnight to a daily high of 3,517 on Monday.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds also reached a new high of 970, up from 936 the previous day.

According to data for Monday, 52.3% of all Arizona inpatients and 64.7% of the state’s ICU patients are confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.

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

  • 424 were discharged, a decrease from the previous report for the third consecutive day following four consecutive days of more than 500.
  • 1,553 were seen in emergency departments, the sixth consecutive day that number decreased.
  • 674 were on ventilators, three more than the record high set the previous day. (About half of the state’s ventilator supply remains unused.)
  • 117 intubations for respiratory distress were performed, 18 more than the previous day and the second-most in a day reported during the pandemic.

Arizona’s overall inpatient and ICU occupancy fell Monday.

Inpatient beds were 85% full, 2 percentage points lower than the previous day. Inpatient beds have been at least 85% full each of the past seven days.

ICU beds were 88% full, also 2 percentage points below the previous day. Monday was the first time since June 29 that the ICU occupancy rate was below 89%.

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

  • Navajo Nation President Jonathan nez reported 47 new cases of the coronavirus among the Navajo Nation and no additional deaths.
  • The U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, denied franchisors’ of boutique fitness studios challenge of Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision to close all indoor gyms last month.
  • Coronavirus vaccines are poised to begin key final testing after the first shot tested in the U.S. successfully revved up people’s immune systems.
  • State and federal agencies are teaming up on a coronavirus testing strike force that will test up to 60,000 Arizonans at two Phoenix sites over 12 days.
  • Here is a list of Valley school districts’ plans for beginning the fall semester as schools grapple with figuring out how to safely reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

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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