Arizona reports 801 new coronavirus cases, 1 additional death
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Monday, Oct. 26.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 801 new coronavirus cases and one additional death on Monday morning.
That put the state’s documented totals at 238,964 COVID-19 infections and 5,875 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic have dropped dramatically from summertime peaks, but cases and hospitalizations have been trending upward this month. Deaths, however, have not seen a similar rise.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients ticked up overnight to 837 on Sunday. That was 42.8% higher than Oct. 1, when it was 586, and the second most since Aug. 26.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds dipped to 179, 43.2% higher than Oct. 1, when it was 125.
The hospitalizations remain far under the pandemic highs of 3,517 inpatients and 970 ICU patients, both recorded July 13.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, has reached its highest level in more than two months.
For the 73,625 tests recorded last week, the positivity rate was 6%, the highest since it was 8% for the week starting Aug. 2. The rate 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 rolling seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported cases was at 1,002 for Sunday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, over 1,000 for the first time since Aug. 13 and more than double the figure of 480 from Oct. 1.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths, however, is under half of what it was at the start of the month. It was 6.71 on Sunday and has been below 12 each day since Oct. 5. It was 16.43 on Oct. 1.
The seven-day averages remain well below their peaks of 3,844 cases on July 6 and 94 fatalities on July 30.
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 is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.
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 slowed after those steps were taken. All of Arizona’s counties have since hit benchmarks established by the health department that allow closed 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 Monday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- The Navajo Nation reported 63 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths for the seventh consecutive day. In all, the Navajo Nation has reported 11,362 infections and 574 deaths.
- The city of Phoenix on Monday partially restored its bus service to levels before the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Arizona Department of Health Services ordered Skin Cabaret in Scottsdale to close indefinitely for allegedly violating state COVID-19 regulations.
- Globally, there were more than 43.17 million COVID-19 cases and 1.15 million deaths as of Monday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the U.S. were around 8.63 million cases and 225,000 deaths.