Limited by data-processing issue, Arizona reports 822 new COVID-19 cases

Aug 31, 2021, 8:37 AM | Updated: 8:51 am
Houston Fire Department paramedics prepare to transport a woman, 52, to a hospital on August 25, 20...
Houston Fire Department paramedics prepare to transport a woman, 52, to a hospital on August 25, 2021 in Houston, Texas. She said she had fallen ill the day before with fever and loss of taste and smell, which are typical Covid-19 symptoms. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Tuesday said a data-processing issue resulted in a limited daily update of 822 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths.

“Our staff has corrected this problem, and you should expect tomorrow’s additions to be much higher than they’d ordinarily be,” Don Herrington, interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in a blog post.

Tuesday’s case report was just the second below 1,000 since July 13. Based on the daily average of more than 3,000 cases over the past week, Wednesday’s update is likely to exceed 5,000, a level not reached since January.

The latest documented totals are 1,011,923 infections and 18,786 fatalities (a decrease of one from Monday due to a data correction), according to the ADHS COVID-19 dashboard.

“We take pride in the accuracy of the data we’ve provided each day during the pandemic. Occasionally because of the nature of real-time data reporting, circumstances mean the additions can be higher or lower than expected,” Herrington said.

Hospitalizations related to the virus have nearly quadrupled since the state’s third wave started in early July. People who aren’t fully vaccinated now account for almost all of the serious illnesses and deaths.

The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients in the state’s hospitals increased by 22 overnight to 2,005 on Monday, surpassing 2,000 for the first time since Feb. 15.

The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients went up by three to 511, the second-most since Feb. 18.

The positivity rate for COVID-19 diagnostic testing conducted last week was 11% as of Tuesday’s update, holding steady from the previous week.

The dashboard also showed that 4,021,397 people (55.9% of the state’s population, based on 7,189,020 residents) have received at least one dose of vaccine in Arizona and 3,534,417 people are fully vaccinated (49.2% of the population). The nationwide rates are 61.7% with at least one dose and 52.4% fully vaccinated, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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 each morning are reported electronically the previous evening by hospitals across the state.

Free federally authorized vaccines are widely available and highly effective in preventing illness from COVID-19, including the more contagious delta variant that now accounts for most of the new cases in the U.S.

For details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with locations and other 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. Appointments may be required depending on the provider.

The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot is 12, and it’s 18 for the other available versions, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

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.

Information about where to get tested for COVID-19 can be found on the ADHS website.

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Limited by data-processing issue, Arizona reports 822 new COVID-19 cases