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Arizona reports 4,544 new coronavirus cases, 51 additional deaths

A medical worker scans the nucleic acid samples collected from a mass testing at a lab in north China's Tianjin Municipality on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. China has reported new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones. (Chinatopix via AP)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Nov. 24, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Tuesday reported 4,544 new coronavirus cases with 51 additional deaths.

It was the highest daily case report since July 1 and the third-highest ever.

That put the state’s documented totals at 306,868 COVID-19 infections and 6,515 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Overall, 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 are approaching record levels.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients was 2,084 on Monday, more than doubling since the start of November and the most since Aug. 1.

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 was 474 on Monday, more than doubling since the start of November and the most since Aug. 12.

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 135,597 tests reported last week, the highest since it was 12% for the week starting July 19.

The weekly rate 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 3,630.29 for Monday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, a 120% increase from two weeks ago and the second-highest ever.

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

Unlike the case numbers, the seven-day average of newly reported deaths has been relatively stable in recent weeks. It was at 23.14 for the second consecutive day on Monday, about a quarter of the pandemic’s high mark.

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

  • The Navajo Nation reported 121 new coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 15,374 infections and 638 fatalities.
  • Gov. Doug Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that a shutdown is not on the table as coronavirus cases surge in Arizona.
  • Gov. Doug Ducey told The Mike Broomhead Show that he expects COVID-19 vaccine distribution to begin in Arizona in three weeks and suggested that things could return to “a very normal state” by the summer.
  • Globally, there were more than 59.36 million COVID-19 cases and 1.39 million deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 12.42 million cases and 257,000 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.

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