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Arizona reports 9,146 new COVID-19 cases, 185 more deaths

Employees of the Pima County Medical Examiner's office move bodies into a refrigerated semi-truck at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner on January 14, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. After reaching capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, two refrigerated semi-trucks arrived at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner for extra storage. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Jan. 15, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Friday reported 9,146 new coronavirus cases and 185 additional deaths from COVID-19.

The state’s documented totals moved to 658,186 COVID-19 infections and 11,040 fatalities, according to the health department’s dashboard.

More than 1,100 deaths have been added to the total over the last seven days.

Arizona has been holding down the top spot nationally for both cases and deaths per capita over the last seven days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have started receding after spiking to record levels earlier this week.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients declined for the third consecutive day to 4,866 on Thursday, the fewest since Jan. 4. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients fell for the second consecutive day to 1,138, the fewest since Jan. 9.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 56% of all inpatient beds and 63% of all ICU beds on Thursday, both down from the previous day.

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, has fallen since hitting an all-time high two weeks ago.

Of the 67,870 people tested this week, 20% received a positive result. The positive rate is 22% for the 204,788 people tested last week, down 2 percentage points 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 state health department’s newly reported coronavirus was at 9,206.71 for Thursday, falling for the second consecutive day, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths declined to 159.14 on Thursday, snapping a streak of eight consecutive record-setting days.

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

  • The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 2 million Friday, just over a year after the coronavirus was first detected in China.
  • Globally, there were about 93.24 million COVID-19 cases and 2 million deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 23.32 million cases and 389,000 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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