Arizona passes 4,000 reported coronavirus deaths, adds 1,444 cases
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Thursday, Aug. 6.
PHOENIX – Two weeks after crossing the 3,000 mark, Arizona surpassed 4,000 documented coronavirus deaths.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 70 new COVID-19 cases and 1,444 additional cases on Thursday morning.
That brought the state’s documented totals to 183,647 infections and 4,002 fatalities.
Many key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic, including coronavirus-related hospitalizations, are the lowest they’ve been in weeks.
The seven-day average for newly reported cases was 1,990 on Wednesday, the first time below 2,000 since June 19, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths increased from 62.43 to 68.29, going up for the first time since peaking at 94 on July 30.
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, is on pace to fall for the fifth consecutive week. It was 9% for the 13,393 tests given and processed since Sunday that have been reported by the state.
The 11% positive rate for the 51,365 tests given and processed last week is the lowest seen 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 Gov. Doug Ducey let Arizona’s stay-at-home order expire. 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.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations declined Wednesday, continuing a weekslong trend.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients fell to 1,879, the fewest since June 18.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds fell to 593, the fewest since June 23.
COVID-19 inpatients peaked at 3,517 on July 13, and COVID-19 patients in ICU beds topped out at 970 the same day.
Overall, Arizona inpatient and ICU bed usage rates increased Wednesday but remained on the low end of the range seen since June.
Inpatient beds were 83% full, 2 points higher than the previous day. The inpatient occupancy rate peaked at 88% on July 9-10.
The ICU occupancy rate increased by 1 point to 83%. It 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 Thursday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez reported an increase of 28 additional COVID-19 cases and one more virus-related death among the Navajo Nation.
- Millions of Americans thrown out of work because of the coronavirus are straining to afford the basics now that an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits has expired.
- The head of a Phoenix-based education nonprofit gave the thumbs up to the newly released health benchmarks that guide schools on when it’s safe to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Here’s a breakdown of how Arizona counties fare in meeting public health benchmarks for resuming in-person education.
- The Arizona Department of Health Services announced Thursday guidelines for schools to take in the event students or staff members contract coronavirus or are symptomatic.
- Arizona health officials released much-anticipated benchmarks on how schools will be able to open for in-person instruction this academic year.
- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced a statewide training program to help Arizona teachers adjust to online instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Maricopa County public health leaders said classrooms will not be ready to reopen for in-person learning on Aug. 17.
- Arizona State University President Michael Crow told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad that the institution has a plan in place to socially isolate students who contract coronavirus.
- There were more than 18.8 million coronavirus cases and 708,000 deaths reported globally as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. For the U.S., there were more than 4.8 million cases and 158,000 deaths.
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.