ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona adds 223 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday in largest daily report since February

Dec 21, 2021, 9:29 AM | Updated: Dec 22, 2021, 8:39 am

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Tuesday reported 223 new COVID-19 deaths, the most in over 10 months, and 2,395 more cases.

That put the state’s documented pandemic totals at 1,341,377 infections and 23,742 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

While Tuesday death reports tend to be on the high side to catch up from reduced data processing over the weekend, the latest report was the largest since Feb. 9.

And after what looked like the start of a downward trend last week in hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, the inpatient and ICU numbers headed higher Monday.

COVID inpatients rose to 2,539, 43 more than the previous day and the second consecutive day-over-day increase after nearly a week of declining numbers.

ICU use for COVID patients was at 702 beds, up 16 from the previous day and the first time above 700 since Dec. 12.

Overall remaining hospital space was reported at 495 inpatient beds (6% of capacity) and 79 ICU beds (5% of capacity) on Monday. COVID cases were taking up 29% of statewide inpatient beds and 42% of the ICU beds.

The White House announced Tuesday that federal emergency response support and paramedics were being sent to Arizona to help hospitals cope with COVID caseloads as the highly contagious omicron variant becomes the nation’s dominant form of the virus.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for diagnostic COVID testing dipped in mid-December but remains at a level of high transmission, with 11% of the completed samples taken last week returning positive as of Tuesday’s dashboard update. The rate was 12% for the limited number of samples from this week that have been processed.

ADHS released new data earlier this month showing that Arizonans who aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were nearly four times more likely than those who are to test positive in October and over 15 times more likely to die from the virus.

Banner Health, the state’s largest hospital network, reported last week that 88% of its COVID ICU patients hadn’t been vaccinated.

The state dashboard on Tuesdsay showed 68.6% of Arizonans old enough to get vaccinated have received at least one shot, with 58.2% fully vaccinated. That trails the national rates of 77.4% of age-eligible individuals with at least one dose and 65.4% 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.

Health officials recommend booster shots for adults (including people 16 and older for Pfizer) 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.

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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Phoenix gas average eclipses $5 a gallon with more increases likely this summer, expert says

Phoenix has eclipsed an average of $5 for a gallon of gasoline and prices are likely to continue rising for a while, an industry expert said Wednesday.
12 hours ago
(Pixabay Stock Photo)...
KTAR.com

Bicycle rider dies after getting hit by car on Phoenix street

A man who was riding a bicycle died after getting struck by a car Tuesday night on 51st Avenue near Camelback Road in Phoenix, authorities said.
12 hours ago
U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) meets with a Border Patrol official in Douglas, Arizona, in April ...
Kevin Stone

Here’s what Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona wants to see before Title 42 is lifted

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona said there will be chaos at the southern border if Title 42 ends before the government is prepared to address the surge of migrants expected to follow.
12 hours ago
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

More than 150 firefighters beat back flames at Phoenix pallet yard

More than 150 firefighters spent hours putting out a large fire at a pallet yard late Tuesday, first responders said.
12 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Chandler is No. 1 nationally for increase in 2-bedroom rent, according to report

Chandler is tops nationally for increase in two-bedroom rent, according to a report released Friday.
12 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Mesa Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Mesa police launches portal for filing complaints, commendations

The Mesa Police Department has unveiled a new online portal that will simplify the complaint and commendation process.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

COVID-19 shots continue long tradition of vaccines protecting public health

You want to feel safe. You want your family to be safe. Are vaccines safe? The simple and important answer is: Oh my yes!
Arizona adds 223 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday in largest daily report since February