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Arizona reports 8,715 new COVID-19 cases, 208 more deaths

TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 14: An employee walks towards refrigerated semi-trucks containing bodies 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. 16, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 8,715 new coronavirus cases and 208 additional deaths from COVID-19.

The state’s documented totals moved to 666,901 COVID-19 infections and 11,248 fatalities, according to the health department’s dashboard.

More than 1,000 deaths have been added to the total over the last seven days.

Arizona currently leads in the nation in cases and has the second-highest number of COVID-19 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 fourth consecutive day to 4,849 on Friday, the fewest since Jan. 4. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients rose by six to 1,144.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 56% of all inpatient beds and 64% of all ICU beds on Friday, 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 95,022 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 8,847.86 for Friday, falling for the third consecutive day, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths declined to 157.43 on Friday, marking the second straight day the number of deaths has declined.

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

  • Globally, there were about 93.97 million COVID-19 cases and 2.01 million deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 23.53 million cases and 392,182 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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