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Arizona reports 17,234 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths on Sunday

(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Jan. 3, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials reported 17,234 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths on Sunday.

Sunday’s numbers bring the state’s documented totals to 556,384 COVID-19 infections and 9,061 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard.

The total number of cases broke the daily record high. The previous high was 12,314 coronavirus cases on Dec. 8.

As was the case the case throughout December, multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona are at or near pandemic highs.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients increased to 4,557 on Saturday, up from 4,484 on Friday.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds climbed to 1,081 on Saturday.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 53% of all inpatient beds, setting a new record, and 61% of all ICU beds.

Overall, inpatient beds and ICU beds each were 93% full. The 127 remaining ICU beds were the fourth-fewest of the pandemic.

The rising tide of COVID-19 patients is squeezing the space left for other patients in Arizona’s hospitals. Banner Health, the state’s largest hospital system, said Wednesday it will pause all elective surgeries in Arizona starting Friday in response to the deluge of COVID-19 patients.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, is on a record-setting pace.

The percent positivity was 26% through 114,154 tests processed this week. It surpassed the record-tying mark of 21% from last week.

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 has been trending downward since peaking two weeks ago and was at 6,587 for Saturday, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths was climbing over the last week and was up to 91 for Saturday.

The state’s 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.

Diagnostic testing is available at hundreds of locations across Arizona and should be sought out by anybody with symptoms or who may have been exposed to an infected person. Information about locations, schedules and registration can be found on the Department of Health Services website.


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

  • Globally, there were about 84.761 million COVID-19 cases and 1.837 million deaths as of Sunday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 20.431 million cases and 350,267 deaths.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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