Arizona reports 928 new coronavirus cases, 40 more 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 Friday, Aug. 14.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 928 new coronavirus cases and 40 more deaths on Friday morning.
That brought the state’s documented totals to 191,721 infections and 4,423 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Multiple key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic, including coronavirus-related hospitalizations, are at or near the lowest they’ve been in a month or more.
The rolling seven-day average for newly reported cases fell to 1,021 on Thursday, the lowest it’s been since June 9, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths decreased to 54.43 on Thursday. The figure has been trending downward 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 by local governments 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 shows how much the virus is spreading, is on pace to fall for the sixth consecutive week.
For the 24,040 samples taken since Sunday that have been processed and recorded, the positive rate is 6%. If that rate holds up, it would be the lowest since the week starting May 17.
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 and the results are documented by the state.
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 hospital data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals and shows coronavirus-related hospitalizations at their lowest points in two months.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients fell to 1,359 on Thursday, the fewest since June 11.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds fell to 473, the fewest since June 14.
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, inpatient beds were 83% full on Thursday, 1 point above the previous day. The inpatient occupancy rate peaked at 88% on July 9-10.
The ICU occupancy rate was 80% for the third consecutive day. 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 Friday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- The Navajo Nation reported eight new coronavirus and no recent deaths, according to President Jonathan Nez.
- J.O. Combs Unified School District was originally planned to start in-person learning next week announced Friday they’ve canceled all classes Monday due to insufficient staffing.
- Maricopa County unveiled Friday a schools-specific coronavirus dashboard designed to give metro Phoenix residents a better look into when in-person instruction should begin.
- Gov. Doug Ducey said he expects Arizona to receive federal funding for $300 a week in additional unemployment benefits.
- The Phoenix Union High School District said it was postponing workouts, practice and competition for fall sports until all Maricopa County reaches all of the state-recommended COVID-19 benchmarks for the safe opening of schools.
- Numerous teachers in the Queen Creek Unified School District have resigned as their schools get ready to welcome back students for in-person classes Monday.
- Turf Paradise announced it has canceled its 2020-21 horse racing season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Arizona renters who previously qualified for protection from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic must now apply for it again.
- Lost our Home Pet Rescue expects a tidal wave of pet abandonment due to economic hardships imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
- There were more than 20.9 million coronavirus cases and 760,000 deaths reported globally as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. For the U.S., there were more than 5.2 million cases and 167,000 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.