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Newly confirmed old tests inflate Arizona’s COVID-19 case report to 1,302

Pins that say "vaccinated" sit on a table during a vaccination clinic for Special Olympics athletes, coaches and family members at Levi's Stadium on April 8, 2021, in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – With hundreds of newly confirmed results from old tests inflating the count, Arizona reported 1,302 new coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths from COVID-19 on Friday.

About 625 of the new cases were from before March in three counties – Gila, Graham and Navajo – from positive tests that weren’t previously recorded because of incomplete information, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a blog post.

Although those newly confirmed cases were part of Friday’s daily report of “new” cases, they were recorded on the ADHS COVID-19 dashboard’s historical section under the dates the samples were collected.

The extra cases were from throughout the pandemic, with 73% of them coming during from the state’s November-February surge.

The inflated update broke a 27-day streak of sub-1,000 daily case reports.

The state’s latest documented totals were 848,202 COVID-19 infections and 17,062 fatalities, according to the health department’s COVID-19 dashboard, with the number of vaccines shots given on the cusp of 4 million.

The dashboard showed 3,962,537 doses administered in the state, with 3,493,123 people (34.7% of the state’s population) having received at least one shot and 1,615,029 people fully vaccinated.

The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients in the state’s hospitals increased by 30 on Thursday to 571, the second most since April 1. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients increased by nine to 149, still the third-fewest since Oct. 12.

The state health department’s daily updates present case and death 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 numbers posted on the dashboard each morning are reported electronically the previous evening by hospitals across the state.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 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.

All adults across Arizona are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, with the minimum age at 16 for the Pfizer shot and 18 for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson versions.

The following week’s worth of appointments at the state-run mass vaccination sites are released every Friday at 11 a.m. The spots can be booked online at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ or by calling 844-542-8201.

For details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page showing locations and registration information.

For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events.

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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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