Arizona reports 7,748 new coronavirus cases, 1 additional death

Dec 21, 2020, 8:29 AM | Updated: 5:18 pm
COVID-19 vaccines are prepared for health care workers in Phoenix on Dec. 17, 2020. (Facebook Photo...
COVID-19 vaccines are prepared for health care workers in Phoenix on Dec. 17, 2020. (Facebook Photo/Banner Health)
(Facebook Photo/Banner Health)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 21, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Monday reported 7,748 new coronavirus cases and one additional death, while hospitalizations ticked up again after one day of declines.

The state’s documented totals increased to 461,345 COVID-19 infections and 7,972 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona remain at or near pandemic highs, although Saturday was the first day in over a week without record hospitalization numbers.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients was at 3,925 on Sunday, up 26 from the previous day and the third-highest ever.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in ICU beds was 904, up 19 from the previous day and also the third-highest ever.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up a 46% of all inpatient beds and 51% of all ICU beds.

Overall, inpatient beds were 92% filled and ICU beds were also 92% filled.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, is also showing signs of leveling off.

Through 137,303 tests for last week, the positivity rate was 18%, matching the rate from the previous two weeks.

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 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.

The rolling seven-day average for the health department’s newly reported cases was 6,450.70 for Sunday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, the lowest weekly average since Dec. 13 but still among the highest of the pandemic.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths has more than tripled this month and is sitting just under the pandemic record of 94 set July 31. The weekly death average was at 87.71 for Sunday, a fraction below the previous day and the fourth-highest ever.

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

  • The Navajo Nation reported 158 new coronavirus cases and two additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 21,177 infections and 748 fatalities.
  • The Arizona Coyotes plan to open their season with limited fans in attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • President-elect Joe Biden on Monday received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on live television as part of a growing effort to convince the American public the inoculations are safe.
  • Globally, there were about 76.95 million COVID-19 cases and 1.7 million deaths as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 17.85 million cases and 317,000 deaths.

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Arizona reports 7,748 new coronavirus cases, 1 additional death