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Arizona reports 323 new coronavirus cases, 18 additional deaths

(Photo by Andreas Rentz/2020 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 Wednesday, Sept. 30.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 323 new coronavirus cases and 18 additional deaths on Wednesday morning.

That put the state’s documented totals at 218,507 COVID-19 infections and 5,650 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 months.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients increased to 560 on Tuesday, the most in the past week.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds fell to 115, near the fewest of the pandemic.

COVID-19 inpatients peaked at 3,517 on July 13, and COVID-19 patients in ICU beds topped out at 970 the same day.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing has been at 4% for past four weeks, with 63,681 tests completed last week.

It’s 4% again so far this week based on 3,518 tests recorded.

The positivity rate, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, had been as high as 20% at the end of June.

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 hospitalization data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.

The rolling seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported cases was 476.86 through Tuesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, well below the July 6 peak of 3,844.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths hasn’t changed much in recent weeks and was at 19.14 through Tuesday, well below the July 30 peak of 94.

As cases skyrocketed in June, local governments in many parts of Arizona — including all of Maricopa County — implemented face mask requirements, and Gov. Doug Ducey issued statewide executive orders to close certain businesses and restrict restaurant occupancy.

The spread of COVID-19 soon slowed and has been steadily falling since the peak of the pandemic. Much of the state has hit benchmarks established by the health department that allow certain businesses to reopen under capacity restrictions and other regulations.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, 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.


Below are Wednesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • Chaparral High School in Scottsdale announced a member of the school’s varsity football team tested positive for coronavirus. The player was last at practice on Friday and is now in isolation. Members of the school’s varsity and junior varsity football teams, including coaches and staff, have been notified if they may have been exposed.  As a result, both the varsity and junior varsity games against Saguaro High School this week and Sandra Day O’Connor next week have been canceled.
  • The federal government is sending Arizona more than 2 million rapid COVID-19 tests, which will target schools and vulnerable communities.
  • Globally, there were more than 33.7 million COVID-19 cases and 1 million deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the U.S. were around 7.2 million cases and 206,000 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.

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