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Arizona reports 6,981 new COVID-19 cases, 18 more deaths

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Jan. 17, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Sunday reported 6,981 new coronavirus cases and 18 additional deaths from COVID-19.

The state’s documented totals moved to 673,882 COVID-19 infections and 11,266 fatalities, according to the health department’s dashboard.

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 fifth consecutive day to 4,773 on Saturday, the fewest since Jan. 4. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients fell by 26 to 1,118.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 55% of all inpatient beds and 62% of all ICU beds on Saturday, both down from the previous day.

Overall, ICU beds were 93% full, while inpatient beds were 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 120,932 people tested this week, 22% 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 8,508 for Saturday, falling for the fourth consecutive day, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths declined to 173.14 on Saturday, increasing by more than 15 from Friday, after two straight days where the number of deaths had fallen.

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

  • The Navajo Nation reported 96 new coronavirus cases four additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 26,383 infections and 919 fatalities.
  • Globally, there were about 94.6 million COVID-19 cases and 2.02 million deaths as of Sunday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 23.76 million cases and 395,855 deaths.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit

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