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Arizona reports 1,621 new COVID-19 cases, 83 more deaths Friday

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2020, file photo, a worker inspects syringes of a vaccine for COVID-19 produced by Sinovac at its factory in Beijing. China approved two new more COVID-19 vaccines for wider use Thursday, adding to its growing arsenal of shots: one from CanSino Biologics, and a second one from state-owned Sinopharm. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Feb. 26, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona public health officials on Friday reported 1,621 new coronavirus cases and 83 additional deaths from COVID-19.

The state’s documented totals were updated to 814,528 coronavirus infections and 15,897 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 1,354 on Thursday, the fewest since Nov. 9. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients ticked up by four overnight to 419, the second-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 37,418 people tested so far this week, 7% received a positive result, which would be the lowest mark since October. The percent positivity was 9% each of the two previous weeks.

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 1,529.86 for Thursday, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths was 90.17 for Thursday, dropping back below 100 after a spike this week.

In Thursday’s update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Arizona was fifth in the nation for COVID-19 deaths per capita over the last seven days and 15th 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 Friday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • The Navajo Nation reported 23 new coronavirus cases and four additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 29,710 infections and 1,165 fatalities.
  • U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services reported that 1,660,857 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, a day-to-day increase of 57,299, with 1,164,941 people having received at least one shot.
  • The city of Phoenix is delivering COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable through a series of community-based vaccination events through May.
  • While some parents continue to have concerns over COVID-19, a Glendale-based pediatrician believes it is possible for students to safely return to school for in-person learning.
  • Globally, there were about 113.13 million COVID-19 cases and 2.51 million deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 28.41 million cases and 508,000 deaths.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit

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

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