Arizona reports 1,091 new coronavirus cases, 65 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 Thursday, Sept. 3.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 1,091 new coronavirus cases and 65 additional deaths on Thursday morning.
That put the state’s documented totals at 203,952 COVID-19 infections and 5,130 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Multiple key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic are at or near the lowest they’ve been in a month or more, including coronavirus-related hospitalizations.
The rolling seven-day average for newly reported cases slightly increased Wednesday to 486, the third-lowest seen since June 1, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths dipped to 28, among the lowest marks since the start of July.
The seven-day average for new cases peaked July 6 at 3,844, and the stat for deaths reached a high of 94 on July 30.
The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing in the month-plus since the implementation of face mask requirements by local governments in many areas — including all of Maricopa County — and statewide executive orders to close certain businesses and 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 COVID-19 diagnostic tests, which shows how much the virus is spreading, had declined for seven consecutive weeks but may be leveling off.
For the 13,377 samples taken since Sunday that have been processed and recorded, the positive rate is 4%, down 1 percentage point from last week.
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 or near their lowest points in several months.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients dipped to 745 on Wednesday, one of the lowest totals since May 22.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds dropped to 241, the second-fewest total since it was 270 all the way back on April 13.
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 82% full on Wednesday, up 1 percentage point from the previous day. Only 9% of beds, however, were taken by COVID patients.
The inpatient occupancy rate peaked at 88% on July 9-10, when more than 40% of beds were filled with COVID patients.
The ICU occupancy rate was 80% on Wednesday, up 1 percentage point from the previous day. COVID patients took up just 14% of the ICU beds, the lowest percentage since April 9.
ICU occupancy rate topped out at 91% on July 7, when more than half of the state’s ICU beds were filled with COVID patients.
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:
- Gyms, bars operating as restaurants, theaters, water parks and tubing operators in Pinal County can finally begin reopening after meeting Arizona’s COVID-19 business benchmarks Thursday morning.
- Maricopa County has met all three coronavirus benchmarks recommended for safely starting in-person learning, Arizona health officials reported Thursday.
- The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is launching a project to see how many residents have been infected with COVID-19 beyond those that have already tested positive.