Arizona reports 6,616 new coronavirus cases, 115 more deaths

Dec 25, 2020, 8:24 AM | Updated: 8:25 am
Community paramedic Karin Casciano assesses a patient, 83, during a home wellness check on December...
Community paramedic Karin Casciano assesses a patient, 83, during a home wellness check on December 23, 2020 in White Plains, New York. The patient, an ex U.S. Marine, said the Christmas stockings were for his adult children, although he will not see them this Christmas because of the pandemic. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 25, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials reported 6,616 new coronavirus cases and 115 additional deaths on Christmas Day, while a record number of COVID-19 patients are spending the holiday in the hospital.

The state’s documented totals increased to 486,935 COVID-19 infections and 8,409 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard.

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

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients climbed to an all-time high of 4,226 on Thursday, the 12th daily record in the last 14 days.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds increased to 976, setting a record for the second time in the last three days.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 50% of all inpatient beds, tying the record set the previous day, and 55% of all ICU beds.

Overall, inpatient beds were 91% filled and ICU beds were a pandemic-record-tying 93% full. The state had 131 unused ICU beds Thursday, one fewer than the previous day.

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 51,929 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 6,469 for Thursday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, the highest it’s been this week.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths was 88.14 for Thursday, declining for the second consecutive day but still the fifth-highest ever.

The daily updates 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 Friday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • After tossing a grenade that threatens to blow up a massive COVID relief and government funding bill, President Donald Trump spent his Christmas Eve golfing in Florida.
  • Globally, there were about 79.25 million COVID-19 cases and 1.74 million deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 18.66 million cases and 329,000 deaths.

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Arizona reports 6,616 new coronavirus cases, 115 more deaths