Arizona reports 5,859 new coronavirus cases, 153 more deaths

Dec 22, 2020, 8:27 AM | Updated: 5:06 pm

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 22, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Tuesday reported 5,859 new coronavirus cases and 153 additional deaths.

It was the second-highest single-day death report of the pandemic, behind only the 172 from July 30, and the fifth time in seven days with triple digits.

The state’s documented totals increased to 467,215 COVID-19 infections and 8,125 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The 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.

Multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona remain at or near pandemic highs.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients increased to a record 4,019 on Monday, surpassing the mark set Friday.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds was up to 943, the second-most ever, trailing only the July 13 mark of 970.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up a 47% of all inpatient beds, matching a record high, and 53% of all ICU beds.

Overall, inpatient beds were 91% filled, as were ICU beds.

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 153,468 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 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 5871 for Monday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, nearly 2,000 below the peak hit one week earlier and the mark since Dec. 8.

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 for Monday was 87.71 for the second consecutive day, 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 Tuesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • The Navajo Nation reported 151 new coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 21,327 infections and 755 fatalities.
  • The Arizona Senate has announced a new set of COVID-19 safety guidelines for the upcoming legislative session in January, including requiring masks.
  • Globally, there were about 77.53 million COVID-19 cases and 1.7 million deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 18.04 million cases and 319,000 deaths.

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Arizona reports 5,859 new coronavirus cases, 153 more deaths