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Arizona reports 2,992 new coronavirus cases, 53 more deaths

A person is tested for the COVID-19 Coronavirus Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at Cesar Chavez City Park in Phoenix. The two-week testing event is aimed at bringing tests to Phoenix's Laveen neighborhood, home to many Latinos and Blacks who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Latino leaders say governments need to do more to communicate effectively with Hispanic communities to ensure people know where to get tested and encourage them to participate. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 2,992 new coronavirus cases and 53 additional deaths on Saturday morning.

The numbers brought the state’s documented totals to 177,002 COVID-19 cases and 3,747 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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 or more. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.

Arizona’s seven-day average of cases in the state has fallen by more than 1,500 in the past month, according to tracking by The Associated Press, to 3,212 on Friday.

The average of newly reported deaths, however, has been increasing, reaching a record of high of 94 on Thursday when 172 deaths (including 78 from death certificate matching) were reported.

Implementation of face mask requirements in various cities and counties in the state along with the statewide executive orders to close businesses such as bars and gyms and to restrict restaurant occupancy was made after the state became a global hot spot for the coronavirus.

The coronavirus has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms – which include but are not limited to cough, fever and difficulty breathing — are capable of spreading the virus.

In recent weeks spread of the coronavirus in Arizona has been showing signs of slowing.

The positive rate for diagnostic PCR tests in the state, which indicates how much the virus is spreading, is falling.

Weekly rates are based on when the samples are taken, not when they are reported, so the percentage for recent weeks can fluctuate as labs get caught up on testing backlogs.

For the 25,935 tests given and processed this week, the positive rate is 11%.

The weekly positive rate started growing from 5% in early May once Arizona’s stay-at-home order expired and reached a peak of 21% the week starting June 28.

While the Arizona health department’s data can lag by several days, hospitalization data posted each morning is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients continued to fall Friday to 2,226, the lowest since June 22.

COVID-19 patients in ICU beds also fell to 710.

Inpatient beds were 83% full Friday. The inpatient occupancy rate peaked July 9-10 at 88%.

The ICU occupancy rate was 85% Friday. The ICU occupancy rate topped out at 91% on July 7.

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

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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