ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona reports 8,076 new coronavirus cases, 77 more deaths

Dec 12, 2020, 8:36 AM | Updated: 6:22 pm
Vehicles line up at patrons wait for COVID-19 tests at a drive-thru testing center Tuesday, Dec. 8,...

Vehicles line up at patrons wait for COVID-19 tests at a drive-thru testing center Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Phoenix. Arizona on Tuesday set a new daily record with over 12,300 additional known coronavirus cases as the number of hospitalized patients approached levels similar to the peak of last summer's surge, with the state's seven-day rolling average continuing to climb in the past two weeks as have the rolling averages for daily deaths and daily COVID-19 testing positivity. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 12, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities on Saturday reported 8,076 new coronavirus cases with 77 additional deaths.

It was the third-highest single-day case report of the pandemic.

The state’s documented totals increased to 402,589 COVID-19 infections and 7,322 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Overall, multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona are at or approaching the highest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients was 3,534 on Friday. That’s a 51% increase since Thanksgiving, when it was 2,301. It’s also the most since July 14, the day after the record of 3,517 was set.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in ICU beds was 799 on Friday. That’s a 52% increase since Thanksgiving, when it was 532, and the most since July 27.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds peaked July 13 at 970.

Statewide, 41% of all inpatient beds and 45% of all ICU beds were filled with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients on Friday, levels last seen in July.

Overall, inpatient beds were 91% filled and ICU beds were 91% filled. It’s the second time of the pandemic that less than 10% of the state’s inpatient beds, just 744, remained available.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, reached its highest level in nearly five months last week at 18% for 158,596 tests.

As of Saturday morning, the positivity rate was 19% for the 37,613 tests recorded this week.

The 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 health department’s newly reported cases dipped to 6,058.71 for Friday, the first day-to-day decline this week but the second-highest ever, 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 peaked at 3,844 on July 6 and afterward fell as low as 373.14 on Sept. 12.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths is lagging behind the case numbers but has been surging recently. It was at 51.43 for Friday, an 81% increase since Thanksgiving and the highest since Aug. 13.

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 electronically the previous evening by 100 hospitals across the state, as required under executive order.

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:

  • The country’s first coronavirus vaccine will begin arriving in states on Monday morning, U.S. officials said on Saturday.
  • The Navajo Nation reported 203 new coronavirus cases and seven more deaths, bringing the documented totals to 19,420 infections and 718 fatalities.
  • Globally, there were about 71.23 million COVID-19 cases and 1.58 million deaths as of Saturday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 15.62 million cases and 292,000 deaths.

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Arizona reports 8,076 new coronavirus cases, 77 more deaths