ARIZONA NEWS

Number of COVID inpatients in Arizona hospitals up 21% since end of December

Jan 10, 2022, 10:22 AM | Updated: 11:23 am

An Xpress Covid Testing medical secures a testing tube on Jan. 8, 2022, in Houston, Texas. (Photo b...

An Xpress Covid Testing medical secures a testing tube on Jan. 8, 2022, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s hospitals are seeing more and more COVID-19 inpatients as the omicron variant surges through the state, but so far there hasn’t been a corresponding rise in ICU cases.

While the number of confirmed or suspected COVID inpatients has soared by 21% since the last day of December, as of data available Monday morning, ICU use for COVID patients is near the lowest it’s been since mid-November.

Although omicron causes a smaller percentage of severe illnesses than previous variants, officials are still worried the case spike will be large enough to create a significant strain on the hospital system, which already was stretched thin by the delta variant. Omicron has taken hold in Arizona and now makes up an estimated 90% or more of the state’s COVID cases, according to testing officials.

ICU use — and deaths — are lagging indicators, so it’s yet to be seen if or how much a surge in severe illnesses will follow the rapid rise in cases and inpatient hospitalizations.

COVID-19 vaccines still provide significant protection against hospitalization and death, but omicron is causing more breakthrough infections than previous variants. Booster shots can further reduce the risk of breakthrough cases.

Here’s the latest data on the pandemic in Arizona (hospital, case, death, testing and vaccination statistics are based on Monday morning’s update of the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard; seven-day averages are based on tracking by The New York Times):

COVID-19 cases

  • Documented pandemic total – 1,491,420
  • Daily new reports – Monday: 13,937; One day earlier: 15,850; One week earlier: 14,192; Pandemic high: 17,234 (Jan. 3, 2021)
  • Seven-day average – Sunday: 12,439; One day earlier: 10,275: One week earlier: 5,051; Pandemic high: 12,439 (Jan. 9, 2022)

COVID-19 deaths

  • Documented pandemic total – 24,773
  • Daily new reports – Monday: 0; One day earlier: 69; One week earlier: 0; Pandemic high: 335 (Jan. 12, 2021)
  • Seven-day average – Sunday: 60; One day earlier: 50: One week earlier: 53; Pandemic high: 175 (Jan. 13, 2021)

COVID-19 hospitalizations

  • COVID inpatients – Sunday: 2,765; One day earlier: 2,693; One week earlier: 2,381; Pandemic high: 5,082 (Jan. 11, 2021)
  • COVID ICU patients – Sunday: 586; One day earlier: 606; One week earlier: 601; Pandemic high: 1,183 (Jan. 11, 2021)

Statewide hospital capacity

  • Inpatients beds available – Sunday: 536 (6% of capacity); One day earlier: 521 (6%); One week earlier: 593 (7%)
  • Percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients – Sunday: 32%; One day earlier: 31%; One week earlier: 27%
  • ICU beds available – Sunday: 104 (6% of capacity); One day earlier: 111 (7%); One week earlier: 102 (6%)
  • Percentage of ICU beds with COVID patients – Sunday: 35%; One day earlier: 37%; One week earlier: 36%

Laboratory diagnostic testing

  • Weekly percent positivity – Samples taken this week: 18%; Last week: 30%; Two weeks ago: 22%; Pandemic high: 30% (Jan. 2-8, 2022)
  • Find a testing site: ADHS (statewide)

Vaccines

  • Percentage of eligible Arizonans with at least one shot: 70.6%
  • Percentage of eligible Arizonans fully vaccinated: 59%
  • Find a vaccine site: ADHS (statewide); Maricopa County Public Health (metro Phoenix)

Additional details

ADHS 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.

The actual caseload is likely higher than officially reported because ADHS data is based mainly on electronic laboratory reporting and doesn’t include results from home kits unless individuals report them to their health care providers.

The minimum age for vaccination is 5 for Pfizer and 18 for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Boosters are approved, and highly encouraged, for individuals who received their second Pfizer (ages 12 and up only) or Moderna doses at least five months ago or the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago.

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Number of COVID inpatients in Arizona hospitals up 21% since end of December