ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona reports 3,013 new COVID-19 cases, 69 more deaths Thursday

Sep 23, 2021, 8:32 AM | Updated: Sep 24, 2021, 8:30 am
A military nurse prepares a dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Lisbo...

A military nurse prepares a dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Lisbon, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. As Portugal nears its goal of fully vaccinating 85% of the population against COVID-19 in nine months, other countries want to know how it was able to accomplish the feat. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

(AP Photo/Armando Franca)

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Thursday reported 3,013 new COVID-19 cases, the most in nearly two weeks, and 69 additional deaths from the disease.

The last time more cases were reported in a day was 3,355 on Sept. 11.

The latest documented totals are 1,075,876 infections and 19,727 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have been easing downward recently, with people who aren’t fully vaccinated accounting for nearly all of the serious illnesses and deaths.

The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients in the state’s hospitals Wednesday was 1,893, down four from the previous day and the 10th decline in the last 11 days.

The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients was 539, down seven from the previous day and the third-lowest mark of September.

COVID-19 patients took up 30% of the state’s ICU beds as of Wednesday, matching the lowest level of September, according to the dashboard. At the peak of the winter surge in January, 66% of the state’s ICU beds were filled with COVID patients.

The positivity rate for COVID-19 diagnostic testing conducted last week was 11% as of Thursday’s update, down 1 point from the previous week. It’s remained at 11% so far for this week’s samples.

The dashboard also showed that 4,137,197 people (57.5% of the state’s population, based on 7,189,020 residents) have received at least one dose of vaccine in Arizona and 3,659,854 people are fully vaccinated (50.9% of the population). The nationwide rates are 64% with at least one dose and 54.9% 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 serious illness and death from COVID-19, including the predominant and more contagious delta variant.

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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Arizona reports 3,013 new COVID-19 cases, 69 more deaths Thursday