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Arizona reports 5,629 new COVID-19 cases, 191 additional deaths

Signage is in place to direct people to COVID-19 vaccinations at the Yes We Can Community Center on January 10, 2021 in New Cassel, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Jan. 13, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Wednesday reported 5,629 new coronavirus cases and 191 additional deaths from COVID-19.

The state’s documented totals moved to 641,729 COVID-19 infections and 10,673 fatalities, according to the health department’s dashboard.

On Tuesday, Arizona moved back to No. 1 nationally for cases per capita over the last seven days while maintaining the top spot for deaths per capita over the last week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

As state officials stand firm in their stance that no further mitigation action is necessary, choosing instead to wait on the vaccine rollout to make an impact, Arizona’s hospitals continue to be flooded by the wave of virus patients.

The number of Arizona’s COVID-19 hospital inpatients dipped to 5,055 on Tuesday, 27 below the previous day’s record level. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients slipped to 1,158, 25 below the previous day’s record.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up a record-tying 59% of all inpatient beds and 64% of all ICU beds.

Overall, inpatient beds and ICU beds were each 92% full, slightly below the pandemic highs.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, fell slightly last week.

Of the 199,944 people who were tested last week, 23% received a positive result, down 1 percentage point from the previous week’s record level.

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 climbed to a record 9,803.71 for Tuesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths set a record for the seventh consecutive day Tuesday at 166.43.

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.

The department also has a vaccine-finder page with a map of active and pending locations and links to registration websites.

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

  • The Navajo Nation reported 169 new coronavirus cases and five additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 25,746 infections and 879 fatalities.
  • Arizona health officials decided Wednesday to lower the age requirement for phase 1B COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to 65 starting Tuesday.
  • Arizona, currently facing the worst COVID-19 infection rate in the country, is teetering on the brink of having to ration life-saving care, leaders of the state’s major hospitals said Wednesday.
  • Arizona Health Director Dr. Cara Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that appointments for second shots of the COVID-19 vaccine will be open for February dates soon.
  • Arizona health officials are expected to decide soon whether to lower the age requirement for phase 1B COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to 65.
  • Globally, there were about 91.73 million COVID-19 cases and 1.97 million deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 22.85 million cases and 380,000 deaths.

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