Arizona reports record 253 new COVID-19 deaths, 5,932 additional cases
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Jan 5, 2021.
PHOENIX – Arizona health officials reported 253 new coronavirus deaths, a record-shattering number, and 5,932 additional cases on Tuesday.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said 215 of the deaths were the result of the death certificate matching process, but it didn’t say how old they were. Only three deaths total had been reported Sunday and Monday.
The previous high for deaths reported in one day was 172 on July 30.
The state’s documented totals moved to 567,474 COVID-19 infections and 9,317 fatalities, according to the health department’s dashboard.
As of Monday, Arizona had the highest case rate per capita in the last seven days and the seventh-highest death rate per capita, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Meanwhile, the state’s hospitals continued to see record numbers of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients.
The number of Arizona’s COVID-19 hospital inpatients climbed to 4,789 on Monday, blasting past the previous day’s record by 142.
The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds increased to 1,096 on Monday, breaking the previous day’s record by 14.
Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 56% of all inpatient beds and 62% of all ICU beds, both records.
Overall, inpatient beds and ICU beds were each 92% full.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, is the highest it’s ever been. Of the 149,961 people who got tested last week, 25% received a positive result. That’s 4 percentage points above the previous record.
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 coronavirus cases was 8,159.86 for Monday, down from the previous day’s record level but still the second-highest ever, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths was 85 for Monday, down from the previous day.
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 Tuesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- The Navajo Nation reported 118 new coronavirus cases and 15 additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 23,978 infections and 837 fatalities.
- The University of Arizona will offer a majority of its classes online to start the spring semester because of continued high coronavirus case numbers, university officials announced Tuesday.
- Arizona wouldn’t currently be the country’s worst COVID-19 hot spot if state officials had been doing a better job of enforcing mitigation rules, public health expert Dr. Will Humble told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.
- The Arizona Department of Health Services announced that 101,030 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, and a second county moved to Phase 1B of distribution. Gila joined Pinal in the second phase, which includes education and child care workers, protective services occupations, adults 75 and older, essential services and critical industry workers and adults with high-risk conditions in congregate settings.
- Gov. Doug Ducey announced $2 million of additional funding to Arizona restaurants in order to continue expanding outdoor dining space amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Globally, there were about 85.84 million COVID-19 cases and 1.86 million deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 20.83 million cases and 353,000 deaths.