Arizona reports 1,030 new coronavirus cases, 14 additional deaths
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Monday, Aug. 3.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 1,030 new coronavirus cases and 14 additional deaths on Monday morning.
That brought the state’s documented totals to 179,497 COVID-19 infections and 3,779 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Many of the key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic are the lowest they’ve been in weeks.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths fell Sunday to 76.83, the lowest it’s been since July 19, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average for newly reported cases was 2,350.43 on Sunday, the lowest since June 20.
The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing in the weeks after the implementation of face mask requirements in many areas — including all of Maricopa County — and statewide executive orders to close businesses such as bars and gyms and to restrict restaurant occupancy.
Those moves were made after the state became a global hot spot for the coronavirus, which 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.
Arizona’s weekly positive rate for diagnostic PCR tests, which indicates how much the virus is spreading, has fallen each of the past four weeks.
The positive rate was 11% for the 38,584 tests given and processed last week, the lowest registered since it was 9% the week starting May 24.
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.
The weekly positive rate was 5% in early May and started climbing after Arizona’s stay-at-home order expired. It peaked at 21% the week starting June 28.
The Arizona health department’s daily reports present case, death and testing 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.
The hospitalization data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients dropped Sunday to 2,017, the fewest since June 21 and the 12th consecutive day-to-day decline.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds also fell to the lowest point in more than a month, dropping to 628. That was the fewest since June 25.
The number of COVID-19 inpatients peaked at 3,517 on July 13, and the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds topped out 970 the same day.
Overall, Arizona inpatient and ICU bed usage continued to hover several percentage points below pandemic high points seen in early July.
Inpatient beds were 82% full Sunday, down 1 percentage point from the previous day. The inpatient occupancy rate peaked July 9-10 at 88%.
The ICU occupancy rate was 83% Sunday, down 2 points from the previous day and the lowest it’s been since June 16. 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.
Below are Monday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- Negotiators on a huge coronavirus relief bill reported slight progress after talks resumed in the Capitol, with issues like food for the poor and aid to schools struggling to reopen safely assuming a higher profile in the talks.
- Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez reported 36 new COVID-19 cases and one more virus-related death among the Navajo Nation.
- Memorial events to commemorate a shooting in El Paso one year ago, and another hours later that killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, have been reshaped by the coronavirus.
- Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said she does not believe Arizona school districts will be able to return to in-person learning on Aug. 17 due to the spread of coronavirus in the state.
- Sonora Quest Laboratories, Arizona’s largest testing lab, was still facing a backlog of 3,535 COVID-19 tests.
- Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, was grilled in court over why health clubs must remain closed in a bid to guard against the spread of the coronavirus, yet supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses can remain open.
- President Donald Trump will host Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in Washington on Wednesday to discuss efforts in fighting coronavirus.
- Students who don’t follow coronavirus protocols will have to stay off campus when Arizona State University opens for the fall semester, President Michael Crow told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.
- There were more than 18.1 million coronavirus cases and 690,000 deaths reported globally as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. For the U.S., there were more than 4.6 million cases and 154,000 deaths.