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Arizona reports 1,310 new COVID-19 cases, 43 more deaths Wednesday

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) join fellow members of Congress to observe a moment of silence on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, on February 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congressional leaders held a candlelight ceremony to mark the more than 500,000 U.S. deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Feb. 24, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona officials on Wednesday reported 1,310 new coronavirus cases and 43 additional deaths from COVID-19.

The state’s documented totals were updated to 811,968 coronavirus infections and 15,693 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

After spiking to record highs 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 decreased to 1,449 on Tuesday, the fewest since Nov. 12. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients declined to 430, the fewest since Nov. 17.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, has been trending downward since the start of the year.

Of the 81,434 people tested last week, 9% received a positive result, the same as the previous week, which was the lowest mark since October. So far this week, the positive rate is 8% through 9,881 people tested.

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 has plateaued over the last week and was 1,559.71 for Tuesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths bounced up to 112 for Tuesday, the highest since Feb. 15.

In Tuesday’s update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Arizona was sixth in the nation for COVID-19 deaths per capita over the last seven days and 14th in cases. Arizona led the U.S. in both categories at times in January.

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 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 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:

  • Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said Wednesday schools can safely reopen if they strictly follow outlined mitigation strategies.
  • The Navajo Nation reported 25 new coronavirus cases and no additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 29,602 infections – including one delayed reported case – and 1,152 fatalities.
  • The pending Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be far easier to roll out than previous versions, Arizona health expert Dr. Will Humble told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show, and not just because it’s a one-and-done shot.
  • Apache County became Arizona’s first county to move to Phase 1C of COVID-19 vaccinations, adding adults with high-risk medical conditions and adults living in congregate care settings to its list of eligible populations. Unvaccinated adults in Phases 1A and 1B are also eligible in the northeastern Arizona county.
  • Eight CVS stores in Arizona, including five in metro Phoenix, are now taking reservations for COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible populations.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services reported that 1,552,911 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, a day-to-day increase of 43,074, with 1,114,425 people having received at least one shot.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine protects against COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.
  • Globally, there were about 112.23 million COVID-19 cases and 2.49 million deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 28.26 million cases and 502,000 deaths.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit

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

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