ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona reports 2,806 new COVID-19 cases, 74 more deaths Wednesday

Dec 22, 2021, 8:58 AM | Updated: 10:22 am
Merline Jimenez (L) administers a COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swab to a person at a testing site locate...
Merline Jimenez (L) administers a COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swab to a person at a testing site located in the international terminal at Los Angeles International Airport amid a surge in omicron variant cases on Dec. 21, 2021. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Wednesday reported 2,806 new COVID-19 cases, the fourth consecutive day below 3,000, and 74 additional deaths from the virus.

That put the state’s documented pandemic totals at 1,344,183 infections and 23,816 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

Arizona reported nearly 300 COVID deaths Tuesday-Wednesday and led the nation in seven-day death rate per 100,000 residents as of Tuesday, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

After a single-day upturn in hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases on Monday, the inpatient and ICU numbers dipped Tuesday.

The number of COVID inpatients was at 2,490, down 49 from the previous day and the second-fewest since Nov. 21. ICU use for COVID patients was at 683 beds, down 19 from the previous day and the second-fewest since Dec. 5.

Overall remaining hospital space was reported at 531 inpatient beds (6% of capacity) and 102 ICU beds (6% of capacity) on Tuesday. It was the first time more than 100 ICU beds were available since Dec. 2.

COVID cases were taking up 28% of statewide inpatient beds and 41% of the ICU beds.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for diagnostic COVID testing has leveled off since ticking down in early December, but the transmission level remains high. Eleven percent of the completed samples taken this week have returned positive as of Wednesday’s dashboard update, matching the rate from the previous two weeks.

Dr. Richard Carmona, Arizona’s top pandemic adviser and a former U.S. surgeon general, said that unless a personal physician has recommended against it because of a “unique circumstance,” everybody eligible should get vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster shot.

“The vaccine doesn’t 100% prevent you from getting the disease,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday. “But if you get it, it’ll be a milder form, it generally prevents you from being hospitalized and being on a ventilator and dying.”

The state dashboard on Wednesday showed 68.7% of Arizonans old enough to get vaccinated had received at least one shot, with 58.3% fully vaccinated. That trails the national rates of 77.2% of age-eligible individuals with at least one dose and 65.5% fully vaccinated.

Carmona warned that the more COVID spreads, the greater the chance it will mutate into something more virulent.

“It will continue to mutate, which gives you more variants and eventually you could get a variant where our vaccine doesn’t work or works poorly and then we have to start the whole process again,” he said.

“So it’s about every citizen understanding it’s not just about you and your individual rights, but what can you do to keep your family, your community, your state and your nation healthier and put this pandemic behind us.”

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

(Queen Creek Photo)...
KTAR.com

Ground broken on next phase of Mansel Carter Oasis Park in Queen Creek

Ground has been broken on the next phase of a park in Queen Creek that is expected to be completed by late next year.
20 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Weeknight closures on I-17 north of Phoenix will impede traffic for months

Interstate 17 north of Phoenix will be closed several nights a week well into next year so crews can blast rocks to make space for new lanes.
20 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County)...
KTAR.com

Maricopa County certifies 2022 midterm election, leaving Cochise as lone holdout

Maricopa County certified the 2022 midterm election, leaving Cochise County as the lone holdout ahead of Monday's deadline.
20 hours ago
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Ron Wolfley says Arizona Cardinals were hard-luck losers against Chargers

The Arizona Cardinals lost a heartbreaker on Sunday to the Los Angeles Chargers, a defeat Ron Wolfley said was tough luck.
20 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/U.S. Dog Agility Association)...
KTAR.com

Dogs will have run of the place in Scottsdale at Agility World Games

There will be no dogging it this week in Scottsdale when nearly 500 of the most athletic canines in the country will compete to be the best at the Cynosport Dog Agility World Games.
20 hours ago
An election worker removes tabulated ballots to be boxed inside the Maricopa County Recorders Offic...
Associated Press

GOP-controlled Cochise County refuses to certify 2022 election

Officials in a rural Arizona county refused Monday to certify the 2022 election ahead of the deadline amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject a vote count
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Arizona reports 2,806 new COVID-19 cases, 74 more deaths Wednesday