Arizona reports 1,399 new coronavirus cases, adds 12 deaths
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Thursday, Nov. 12.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Thursday reported 1,399 new coronavirus cases with 12 additional deaths.
That put Arizona’s documented totals at 266,562 COVID-19 infections and 6,240 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Key pandemic metrics have been rising in Arizona at a rate not seen since the first wave hit in June and July. Cases have been surging since the beginning of October, and deaths started on the same course about three weeks later.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients increased overnight to 1,368 on Wednesday. That’s 133% higher than Oct. 1, when it was 586, and the most since Aug. 12.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds increased to 331 on Wednesday, 165% above the Oct. 1 mark of 125 and the most since Aug. 21.
The hospitalizations remain well below 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 three months.
The weekly rate was at 9% for 110,669 tests recorded from last week, the highest since it was 10% for the week starting July 26. So far this week, it’s at 10% through 22,374 tests recorded.
The weekly rate was at its highest at the end of June at 20%.
Official positivity 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 rose to 2,075.71 for Wednesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, 332% higher than the Oct. 1 mark of 480 and the highest since Aug. 4.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths was 24.14 for Wednesday, slightly down from the previous day but more than double what it was three weeks 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 for a few months 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 Thursday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- The Navajo Nation reported 143 new coronavirus cases and no recent deaths, bringing the documented totals to 12,971 infections and 596 deaths.
- In a letter to parents, Paradise Valley Unified School District said it will return to online learning only starting Nov. 23.
- The Phoenix Union High School District announced Thursday it plans to formally end the fall sports season and delay the start of winter sports as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Arizona.
- Federal health officials have reached an agreement with pharmacies across the U.S. to distribute free coronavirus vaccines after they are approved and become available to the public.
- The Navajo Nation Department of Health has identified 34 communities with an uncontrolled spread of coronavirus, leading officials to issue a warning and enact a weekend curfew.
- One metric is keeping Arizona businesses from being forced to close despite a surge in coronavirus cases and ensuring that recommendations for schools don’t revert to virtual-only.
- Globally, there were more than 52.28 million COVID-19 cases and 1.28 million deaths as of Thursday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the U.S. were around 10.4 million cases and 241,000 deaths.
For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.
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.