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Arizona passes 700,000 total COVID-19 cases, 12,000 deaths

Certified medical assistant Mario Rivera applies a Band-Aid after administering a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination to Anthony Banash at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on January 21, 2021 in Torrance, California. Banash was the first patient to receive the vaccine at the hospital. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Jan. 22, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Friday reported 8,099 new coronavirus cases and 229 additional deaths from COVID-19, pushing the pandemic totals past 700,000 and 12,000.

The state’s documented totals moved to 708,041 infections and 12,001 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

As of Thursday’s update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Arizona continued to lead the nation in cases per capita over the last seven days and regained the top spot for the death rate. On Wednesday, Arizona had been fourth in deaths per capita over the last seven days.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have been trending downward since spiking to record levels early last week.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients fell to 4,495 on Thursday, the fewest since Dec. 28. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients dipped to 1,054, the second-fewest since Dec. 28.

Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 52% of all inpatient beds and 58% of all ICU beds on Thursday, both down 1 percentage point from the previous day.

Overall, inpatient beds held steady at 92% full, and ICU beds opened up slightly to 91%.

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 of 24% three weeks ago.

Of the 59,955 people tested this week, 21% received a positive result, up 1 point from last week’s rate.

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 cases was at 7,271.71 for Thursday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, increasing from the previous day for the first time since Jan. 12.

The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths moved to 153 for Thursday, rising for the second consecutive 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.

The department also has a vaccine-finder page with a map of active and pending locations and information about registration.

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

  • With Arizona’s winter COVID-19 wave receding for the first time in months, Banner Health will cautiously resume elective surgeries next week.
  • U.S. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News he turned down a chance to get vaccinated for COVID-19 because “it felt creepy” to use his position to move to the head of the line.
  • The Navajo Nation reported 143 new coronavirus cases and 14 additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 26,955 infections and 954 fatalities.
  • Globally, there were about 97.65 million COVID-19 cases and 2.09 million deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 24.63 million cases and 410,000 deaths.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit

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

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit

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