Arizona reports 5,158 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths

Jan 4, 2021, 8:28 AM | Updated: 6:53 pm
Medical staff member Diana Isabel Escalante talks to a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit ...
Medical staff member Diana Isabel Escalante talks to a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) on New Year's Eve at the United Memorial Medical Center on December 31, 2020, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Jan 4, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Monday reported 5,158 new coronavirus cases and three additional deaths, while hospitalization numbers reached record highs.

The state’s documented totals moved to 561,542 COVID-19 infections and 9,064 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard.

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 4,647 on Sunday, the most ever reported by more than 80.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds increased to 1,082 on Sunday, breaking the previous day’s record by one.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 54% of all inpatient beds, a new high, and a record-tying 61% of all ICU beds.

Overall, inpatient beds were 92% full and ICU beds were a record-tying 93% full.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, soared to a record level last week, when 26% of people tested got a positive result. That’s 5 percentage points above the previous high mark.

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 soared to a new high of 8,863.86 for Sunday, eclipsing 8,000 for the first time, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths was 90.57 for Sunday, the fourth-highest ever.

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

  • The Navajo Nation reported 110 coronavirus cases and three additional deaths, bringing the documented totals 23,841 infections and 822 fatalities.
  • Pinal County is the only one in the state to have moved into Phase 1B of its plans almost a month after coronavirus vaccinations started in Arizona,
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England until at least mid-February to combat a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus, even as Britain ramped up its vaccination program by becoming the first nation to start using the shot developed by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca.
  • Globally, there were about 85.23 million COVID-19 cases and 1.85 million deaths as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 20.64 million cases and 351,000 deaths.

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Arizona reports 5,158 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths