ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona reports 7,046 new coronavirus cases, 115 more deaths

Dec 24, 2020, 8:27 AM | Updated: 2:56 pm
A clinician cares for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Providence St. Mary Me...
A clinician cares for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Providence St. Mary Medical Center amid a surge in COVID-19 patients in Southern California on December 23, 2020 in Apple Valley, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 24, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Thursday reported 7,046 new coronavirus cases and 115 additional deaths, while COVID-19 hospitalizations again reached a new high mark.

The state’s documented totals increased to 480,319 COVID-19 infections and 8,294 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard.

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 climbed to an all-time high of 4,221 on Wednesday, the 11th daily record in the last 13 days.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds dipped to 965, seven below the previous day’s record level and the third-most ever.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 50% of all inpatient beds, a record high, and 54% of all ICU beds.

Overall, inpatient beds were 92% filled and ICU beds were a pandemic-record-tying 93% full. The state had 132 unused ICU beds, an increase from the record-low 119 from the previous day.

The hospitalization data posted each morning is reported electronically the previous evening by 100 hospitals across the state, as required under executive order.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, was 23% through 29,603 tests for this week. If that holds up, it will break the record of 21% from the week starting June 28.

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 was 6,293.43 for Wednesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, up from the previous day but about 1,500 below the Dec. 14 peak.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths fell to 92.71 for Wednesday, a drop from the record-high 100.43 recorded Tuesday but still the third-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 Thursday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • The Navajo Nation reported 272 new coronavirus cases and seven recent deaths, bringing the documented totals to 21,833 infections and 762 fatalities.
  • House Republicans shot down a Democratic bid on to pass President Donald Trump’s longshot, end-of-session demand for $2,000 direct payments to most Americans as he ponders whether to sign a long-overdue COVID-19 relief bill.
  • Globally, there were about 78.84 million COVID-19 cases and 1.73 million deaths as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 18.47 million cases and 326,000 deaths.

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Arizona reports 7,046 new coronavirus cases, 115 more deaths