Arizona COVID-19 totals surpass 800,000 cases, 15,000 deaths
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Feb. 17, 2021.
PHOENIX – Arizona has surpassed 800,000 reported coronavirus cases and 15,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
State officials on Wednesday reported 1,315 new cases and 82 additional deaths, pushing the documented totals to 801,055 infections and 15,063 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.
After spiking in the first part of January, case and hospitalization numbers have fallen to pre-Thanksgiving levels in Arizona.
The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients in the state’s hospitals fell to 1,941 on Tuesday, the fewest since Nov. 21. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients declined to 593, the fewest since Nov. 29.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, has declined every week since the start of the year.
Of the 90,406 people tested last week, 9% received a positive result, the lowest rate since late October. The rate was 9% for 7,354 people tested so far this week.
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 seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported coronavirus cases was 1,781.71 for Tuesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, the lowest mark since Nov. 9.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths had remained stubbornly high since the start of February, but it took a steep drop to 99.29 for Tuesday, falling below 100 for the first time since Jan. 5.
The Arizona health department’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.
For more information about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration.
Below are Wednesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- The Navajo Nation reported 27 new coronavirus cases and 2 additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 29,336 infections – including one delayed case – and 1,114 fatalities.
- All of Arizona’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccine shipments were delayed this week, but the impact on appointments for the next few days will vary by location.
- The Arizona Department of Health Services reported that 1,291,053 of the state’s 1,395,300 allocated COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, an increase of 63,782 from the previous day. That leaves the state with just 104,247 unused shots until next week’s allocation.
- Globally, there were about 109.61 million COVID-19 cases and 2.42 million deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 27.76 million cases and 488,000 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.