Arizona surpasses 250,000 coronavirus cases, records 39 new deaths
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Wednesday, Nov. 4.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 814 new coronavirus cases, pushing the state above the quarter-million mark for the pandemic, and 39 additional deaths on Wednesday morning.
That put Arizona’s documented totals at 250,633 COVID-19 infections and 6,059 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 over the last month-plus.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients rose overnight to 1,065 on Tuesday. That was 81.7% higher than Oct. 1, when it was 586, and the first time above 1,000 since Aug. 21.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds increased to 241, 92.8% higher than Oct. 1, when it was 125, and the most since Sept. 2.
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 two months.
The weekly rate was at 9% for 8,188 tests recorded from this week. It was 7% for 89,463 tests from last week, which would be the highest since it was 8% for the week starting Aug. 2.
The weekly 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 1,385.14 for Tuesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, the highest since Aug. 7 and 189% above the Oct. 1 mark of 480.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths increased to 18.43 for Tuesday, the highest mark since Sept. 29 and an increase of 139% from a week earlier.
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 Wednesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- The Navajo Nation reported 131 new coronavirus cases and no recent deaths, bringing the documented totals to 12,080 infections and 586 fatalities.
- Globally, there were more than 47.56 million COVID-19 cases and 1.21 million deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the U.S. were around 9.38 million cases and 232,000 deaths.