Arizona reports 3,506 new COVID-19 cases, 18 deaths Wednesday

Dec 8, 2021, 9:00 AM | Updated: Dec 9, 2021, 8:44 am

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Wednesday reported 3,506 new COVID-19 cases and 18 additional deaths from the virus.

That brought the documented pandemic totals to 1,301,597 infections and 22,779 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard.

The dashboard also showed ICU usage by confirmed or suspected COVID patients reaching a new delta wave high mark, but the COVID inpatient level declining overnight for just the sixth time in the past month.

ICU usage for COVID patients was at 699 beds on Tuesday, up 11 from the previous day and the most since Feb. 12.

The COVID inpatient total was 2,753, down 47 from the previous day but the third-most since Feb. 7.

Arizona’s COVID hospitalizations surged this past summer, when the highly transmissible delta variant became the dominant version of the virus, and tailed off after a mid-September peak. They started rising again in October and are now more than halfway to the high marks seen last winter, when the vaccine rollout was just starting.

COVID patients accounted for 31% of all Arizona’s inpatient capacity and 40% of the state’s ICU capacity on Tuesday. The number of unused hospital beds statewide was at 502 for inpatients and 96 for ICUs.

Thirteen percent of the completed diagnostic tests for samples taken last week returned positive as of Wednesday’s dashboard update, down 1 point from the previous week. The percent positivity was also 13% for samples processed from this week.

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.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data for September, people in the U.S. not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were 5.8 times more likely to test positive and 14 times more likely to die from the virus than fully vaccinated individuals.

The ADHS dashboard showed 67.2% of Arizonans old enough to get vaccinated have received at least one shot, while 57.7% of them are fully vaccinated.

Arizona trails behind the national rates of 75.7% of age-eligible residents with at least one dose and 63.9% 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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Arizona reports 3,506 new COVID-19 cases, 18 deaths Wednesday