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Arizona passes 4,000 reported coronavirus deaths, adds 1,444 cases

Dr. Jacqueline Delmont, Chief Medical Officer of SOMOS Community Care, uses a nasal swab to test Eddie Mena for COVID-19 in a medical tent at a testing site locate at the Miami Lakes Youth Center on July 22, 2020, in Miami Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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:

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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