ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona adds 344 COVID-19 cases, no deaths Sunday due to Christmas holiday

Dec 26, 2021, 11:01 AM
(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)...
(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

PHOENIX — Arizona health officials on Sunday reported 344 COVID-19 cases and no deaths, attributing the low totals to a lag in reporting due to the Christmas holiday.

“We take pride in having a dashboard that keeps Arizonans apprised of COVID-19 in our state,” Don Herrington, interim director for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in a blog post.

“Major holidays are a rare exception when the flow of information temporarily slows.”

That put the state’s documented pandemic totals at 1,355,052 infections and 23,982 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

Hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases have been trending downward in recent weeks, with some ups and downs along the way.

The number of COVID inpatients was at 2,311 on Saturday, down 45 from the previous day. ICU use for COVID patients was at 642 beds, the same as the previous day.

Overall remaining hospital space was reported at 849 inpatient beds (10% of capacity) and 123 ICU beds (7% of capacity) on Saturday.

Arizona’s percent positivity for diagnostic COVID testing was at 10.4% for samples taken this week as of Sunday’s dashboard update.

The state dashboard on Saturday showed 64.9% of Arizonans old enough to get vaccinated had received at least one shot, with more than 58% fully vaccinated. The national rates are 77.3% of age-eligible individuals with at least one dose and 65.6% 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 strongly 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.

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Arizona adds 344 COVID-19 cases, no deaths Sunday due to Christmas holiday