ARIZONA NEWS

After 3-day dip, Arizona adds over 3,000 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Dec 1, 2021, 9:30 AM | Updated: Dec 2, 2021, 8:43 am
Travelers arrive from international flights at Newark Liberty International Airport on Nov. 30, 202...
Travelers arrive from international flights at Newark Liberty International Airport on Nov. 30, 2021, in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s daily report of new COVID-19 cases was back over 3,000 on the first day of December after November ended with three days below that mark.

The Arizona Department of Health Services on Wednesday added 3,163 cases and 43 deaths to its COVID-19 dashboard, pushing the state’s documented totals for the pandemic to 1,272,943 infections and 22,350 fatalities.

Even with the late-November dip, the rolling seven-day average for new cases has remained above 3,000 since Nov. 8, according to tracking by The New York Times.

The ADHS dashboard also showed 2,661 confirmed or suspected COVID inpatients in Arizona hospitals on Tuesday, 15 fewer than the previous day and the second-most since Feb. 8.

ICU usage for COVID patients increased to 681, up 21 from the previous day and the most since Feb. 12.

The inpatient and ICU numbers each have increased by around 50% since the end of October.

The height of last winter’s spike saw more than 10,000 new cases reported on some days, with over 5,000 COVID inpatients and 1,100 ICU patients.

COVID patients accounted for 30% of all Arizona’s inpatient capacity and 38% of the state’s ICU capacity on Tuesday. The number of unused hospital beds statewide was at 504 for inpatients and 120 for ICUs.

Fourteen percent of the completed diagnostic tests for samples taken last week returned positive as of Wednesday’s dashboard update, the highest weekly percent positivity since Jan. 17-23.

The positive rate was 15% for this week’s samples that have been completed and reported. Last winter’s peak for weekly percent positivity was 19% for Dec. 27-Jan. 3.

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.

“We are in regular contact with federal partners on matters related to COVID-19, including the omicron variant, and will share important information as soon as we have it,” Don Herrington, ADHS interim director, said in a blog post Monday.

“For now, however, I continue to urge everyone to follow the steps public health has recommended consistently. Vaccination, boosters and mitigation are proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and nothing at this time suggests that won’t continue to be the case.”

The dashboard showed 66.5% of Arizonans old enough to get vaccinated have received at least one shot, while 57.4% of those eligible are fully vaccinated.

The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot is 5, and it’s 18 for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer version has full Food and Drug Administration approval, while the other two were granted emergency use authorization.

Officials are now recommending booster shots for adults who received their second Pfizer or Moderna doses more than six months ago and those who got the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago.

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.

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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After 3-day dip, Arizona adds over 3,000 COVID-19 cases Wednesday