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Arizona reports 4,471 new coronavirus cases, 43 additional deaths

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Nov. 20, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Friday reported 4,471 new coronavirus cases with 43 additional deaths.

It was the second consecutive day with more than 4,000 new cases and among highest daily case counts ever reported. It was also the third time over the last week with at least 40 additional deaths.

That put the state’s documented totals at 291,696 COVID-19 infections and 6,427 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.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients increased overnight to 1,835 on Thursday, doubling the Nov. 1 figure of 918 and the most since Aug. 5.

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 decreased by two overnight to 431 on Thursday, 87% above the Nov. 1 mark of 231 and the second most since Aug. 14.

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 48,761 tests so far 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 2,951.86 for Thursday after doubling in just two weeks, according to tracking by The Associated Press. It was highest figure since July 20.

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 at 20.57 on Thursday, increasing day-to-day for just the third time in 11 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.

Information about testing locations can be found on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

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

  • The Arizona Department of Health Services issued a notice of closure to Fitness 1 Gym at 35th Avenue and Union Hills Drive in Glendale for violating state orders on face mask use.
  • Hospitals across Arizona are cutting off visitation in the midst of another surge of coronavirus cases.
  • Pfizer said it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the clock on a process that could bring limited first shots as early as next month.
  • Hundreds of club sports teams are making their way to the Phoenix area for tournaments that other states prohibit because of increasing coronavirus spread.
  • A prominent Arizona health expert says that Arizona hospitals could reach peak summertime capacities in the coming weeks as coronavirus cases surge.
  • Globally, there were more than 57.07 million COVID-19 cases and 1.36 million deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 11.72 million cases and 252,000 deaths.

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