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Arizona reports 4,331 new coronavirus cases, 7 additional deaths

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Nov. 22, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Sunday reported 4,331 new coronavirus cases with seven additional deaths.

That put the state’s documented totals at 299,665 COVID-19 infections and 6,464 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 1,932 on Saturday, more than doubling the Nov. 1 figure of 918 and the most since Aug. 4.

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 by three overnight to 438 on Saturday, 89.6% above the Nov. 1 mark of 231 and the third 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 95,289 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 3,183 for Saturday after doubling in just two weeks, according to tracking by The Associated Press. It was the highest figure since July 16.

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 22.43 on Saturday, after increasing over the past five 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 Sunday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of the Operation Warp Speed, the coronavirus vaccine program, says the first immunizations could happen on Dec. 12. A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc.’s request for an emergency use authorization for its developing COVID-19 vaccine. If approved, vaccinations could begin on the second day after approval, Dec. 12.
  • U.S. health officials Saturday agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight coronavirus.

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.

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