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Arizona reports 1,154 new COVID-19 cases, 96 additional deaths Thursday

(Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for March 4, 2021.

PHOENIX – Arizona public health officials on Thursday reported 1,154 new coronavirus cases and 96 additional deaths from COVID-19.

It was the highest daily death increase since the previous Thursday.

The state’s documented totals were updated to 821,108 coronavirus infections and 16,185 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

Key metrics used to gauge the severity of the pandemic in the state are the lowest they’ve been in months.

The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients in the state’s hospitals decreased to 1,072 on Wednesday, the fewest since Nov. 3. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients fell to 343, the fewest since Nov. 12.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, is at a four-month low.

Of the 21,803 people tested so far this week, 6% received a positive result. Last week’s percent positivity was 7% for 80,446 people, the lowest rate since mid-October.

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 1,140.56 for Wednesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, the lowest recorded weekly average since Oct. 29.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths was 66.17, the lowest since Dec. 27.

After leading the nation in both categories earlier this year, Arizona now ranks in the lower half among states and the District of Columbia for the rate of new cases but remains near the top in deaths.

In Wednesday’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 30th in cases.

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 details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration and eligibility.


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

  • The Senate voted by the slimmest of margins Thursday to begin debating a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill
  • A state-run program to distribute $289 million in federal COVID-19 aid for renters in rural Arizona counties is off to a slow start.
  • The Navajo Nation reported 19 new coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths, bringing the documented totals to 29,816 infections – including three delayed reported cases – and 1,194 fatalities.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services reported that 1,958,342 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, a day-over-day increase of 55,705, with 1,287,165 people having received at least one shot, nearly 18% of the state’s population.
  • With metrics improving and vaccine distribution ramping up, Arizona public health officials are looking into lifting COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Globally, there were about 115.3 million COVID-19 cases and 2.56 million deaths as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 28.76 million cases and 518,000 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.

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