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Arizona reports 3,206 new coronavirus cases, 53 additional deaths

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This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Wednesday, Nov. 18.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Wednesday reported 3,206 new coronavirus cases with 53 additional deaths.

That put the state’s documented totals at 283,102 COVID-19 infections and 6,365 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

It was the highest daily death report since the amount increased by 65 on Sept. 3.

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.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients increased overnight to 1,700 on Tuesday. That’s 85% higher than Nov. 1, when it was 918, and the most since Aug. 6.

The number of COVID-19 inpatients peaked July 13 at 3,517 and fell afterward as low as 468 on Sept. 27.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds increased to 396 on Tuesday, 71% above the Nov. 1 mark of 231 and the most since Aug. 18.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds peaked July 13 at 970 and fell afterward as low as 114 on Sept. 22.

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 four months.

The positivity rate was 12% for the 8,595 tests completed from this week, the highest since it was 12% for the week starting July 19.

The weekly rate, which was 11% last week, peaked at 20% at the end of June and was down to 4% as recently as early October.

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 was 2,394.71 for Tuesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press. That’s 80% higher than the Nov. 1 mark of 1,330 and the second-highest average since Aug. 1.

The seven-day case average peaked July 6 at 3,844 and fell afterward as low as 373.14 on Sept. 12.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths has been bucking the recent trends and was down to 17.14 on Tuesday after decreasing for the eighth time in nine days.

The seven-day death average peaked July 30 at 94 and fell afterward as low as 5.57 on Oct. 14.

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.

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 135 new coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 13,880 infections and 613 fatalities.
  • The Phoenix VA announced it would stop in-person visitations with patients starting Nov. 21 due to rising coronavirus cases.
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced several measures to address the rise in coronavirus cases across the state — but not a mask mandate.
  • Gov. Doug Ducey said Arizona is not joining the 30-plus states with face mask mandates, including several recently enacted by GOP governors who reversed their stance on the issue with the coronavirus surging.
  • Pfizer said new test results show its coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective, is safe and also protects older people most at risk of dying — the last data needed to seek emergency use of limited shot supplies as the catastrophic outbreak worsens across the globe.
  • Globally, there were more than 55.78 million COVID-19 cases and 1.34 million deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 11.36 million cases and 248,000 deaths.

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