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Arizona reports 4,136 new coronavirus cases, 36 additional deaths

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: A member of the medical team holds up a used swab from a PCR test at Gatwick Airport on November 27, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Nov. 28, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 4,136 new coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths.

That put the state’s documented totals at 322,744 COVID-19 infections and 6,624 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 2,383 on Friday, more than doubling since the start of November and the most since July 30.

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 553 on Friday, more than doubling since the start of November and the most since Aug. 7.

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

Statewide, 28% of all inpatient beds and 32% of all ICU beds were filled with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients on Friday, levels last seen in early August. Overall, inpatient beds were 86% filled and ICU beds were 89% filled on Friday.

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% through 65,437 tests reported this week. It was 12% for 149,216 tests from last week.

The weekly rate peaked at 21% 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 reached an all-time high of 3,964 on Wednesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

On Friday, the rolling seven-day average fell back down to 3,848.86.

The seven-day case average had fallen as low as 373.14 on Sept. 12 after the previous peak of 3,844 on July 6.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths is relatively stable compared to the case counts but has been trending upward recently. It was at 23 on Friday.

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

  • Globally, there were more than 61.8 million COVID-19 cases and 1.44 million deaths as of Saturday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 13 million cases and 264,000 deaths.
  • The Navajo Nation reported 258 new cases and no recent deaths, bringing the documented totals to 16,223 infections and 648 fatalities.
  • The COVID-19 surge will present a hospital crisis that could become a disaster unless Arizona implements additional measures, university researchers said in a letter Friday to the state Department of Health Services.
  • Navajo Department of Health Executive Director Dr. Jill Jim has been selected to serve on President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory board.

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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