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Arizona reports 5,680 new coronavirus cases, 64 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 Dec. 4, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Friday reported 5,680 new coronavirus cases, the second most ever, with 64 additional deaths.

It was the third day this week with more than 5,000 new cases reported, a mark that had never previously been reached.

That put the state’s documented totals at 352,101 COVID-19 infections and 6,885 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Overall, key pandemic metrics have been rising in Arizona at rates not seen since the first wave hit in June and July.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients was 2,899 on Thursday, a 26% increase in the last week and the most since July 22.

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 666 on Thursday, a 25% increase in the last week and the most since Aug. 1.

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, 33% of all inpatient beds and 38% of all ICU beds were filled with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients on Thursday, levels last seen in late July and early August. Overall, inpatient beds were 90% filled and ICU beds were 91% filled, both matching pandemic highs.

The 849 unused inpatient beds were the lowest remaining amount of the pandemic. The 155 unused ICU beds were the second-fewest of the pandemic.

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 nearly five months.

The positivity rate is 18% for the 55,749 tests reported so far this week, which would be the highest since it was 19% for the week starting July 5.

The positivity rate, which was 15% for 133,792 tests reported last week, 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 health department’s newly reported cases hit a record 4,585 for Thursday, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

During the first wave of the pandemic in Arizona, when testing was less available than it is now, the seven-day case average got as high as 3,844 on July 6 and afterward fell as low as 373.14 on Sept. 12.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths had been relatively stable compared to the case counts, but it surged to 36.14 for Thursday, a 37% increase from a week earlier and the highest mark since Sept 1.

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:

  • With the first doses of coronavirus vaccine expected to be available in Arizona this month, state health officials laid out a plan for distribution and the priority list for those wanting to receive the treatment.
  • Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said he thinks Arizona’s economy will be back to full strength by July, buoyed by the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A major soccer tournament featuring out-of-state teams is searching for other options after the Phoenix City Council nixed tournaments at city facilities amid coronavirus concerns.
  • Arizona teachers are excited to be among the first to receive the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available later this month.
  • The Navajo Nation is asking for a major disaster declaration to gain access to additional supplies and health care resources as coronavirus cases rise.
  • Globally, there were about 65.4 million COVID-19 cases and 1.5 million deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 14.1 million cases and 276,000 deaths.
  • The Navajo Nation reported 168 new coronavirus cases and two additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 17,495 infections and 665 fatalities.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit

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